Being faithful. Being faith filled. Being faithfully faith filled. This is a journey that every believer steps into the moment they begin their walk with Christ. We build our faith in Christ, we rest in our faith in Christ, we wrestle out our faith in Christ. There are so many aspects to growing our faith, and we ride in and out of so many seasons in life.
The hardest season I have ever experienced was just six months ago. I was wrestling out my faith during a “winter” season. The precipice of this season was a Wednesday morning when I was driving to lead worship. Nate and I have always said yes to the Lord’s call. We have always followed His voice and His peace. But on that rainy day, I could not understand why He had lead us to where we were. My heart just felt darkness and I couldn’t find God. I thought, ‘Where the heck did He go!! Where are you GOD!! Why have you left us!’ Through sadness and tears I made my doubt known: “We have faithfully followed you, and look where we have landed.” No money, Nate’s job still unfolding, me working at a job that is a blessing but not where I feel called to and have been preparing myself for. Struggling. With a LARGE bill due that day. This wasn’t our first rodeo; I was feeling my faith stretched dangerously thin.
When we came back to the valley, we didn’t know we would enter a “winter season.” I think all winters are marked by heartbreak or brokenness of some sort. We had come back on the heels of my experience of deep heartbreak in ministry and a good dose of undue shame. And then this cold barrenness in our lives. It was too much. I felt like I was being swallowed up by the season. I was doing my best to wrestle out my faith, but our circumstances were painting a picture that faith in God is foolish.
My biggest concern was the kids. I told God I was strong enough to keep bearing in my faith, but He had to come through for the kids and their developing faith. HE HAD TO SHOW UP!! His character was on the line. They could see the pressure in Nate and me, and sensed it. We did our best to shield them.
Then He came. This calm voice as I drove in my car. Jesus began speaking. He said, “Amy, remember when I hung on that cross, and I cried out to My Father, ‘MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?’ I know how you feel. I have been where you are. Here’s the thing Amy…I didn’t stay dead. The story didn’t lay flat and end there. There was life and hope and resurrection power on the other side of feeling forsaken by God.” In that moment I knew God wouldn’t leave us in this barren winter season. I knew He was waiting to prove Himself faithful—He had to. It would go against His nature not to. That day we experienced a miracle. A miracle that caused seeds Nate and I had planted in faith for years, all to break. To break underneath the winter soil of our season. A hope broke into my heart that I had not known, and would have not known had He not lead us to where we were.
So I stay faithfully faith filled. It’s not easy. But winter is over. It is in the past. Spring has sprung. I have seeds that need tending, tender shoots coming up out of the ground. The warmth of the hope and joy that have been restored is causing this new harvest to grow.
In the kingdom of God there is life in death. As disciples, part of our faith walk is a crucifixion—a “winter” season, a dying of old things, and time where our faith is buried under leafy decay. There, our roots of faith must dig deep amidst the coldness of our circumstances, the circumstances of life that no one anticipates and that wrestle with our faith. Galatians 2:20 says, “We are crucified with Christ.” Our faith isn’t based on what we see in the flesh, but on the confidence of what we hope for, that we cannot yet see (Hebrews 11:1). In a winter season, keep your faith! There is a lot of action taking place deep inside you, in the underground places of your heart and soul. Some things must die. Wrestle it out, and watch God prove Himself, bringing life out of death.
-Amy Wood, worship pastor