March 18, 2010

Faith in Action

Today, as I was praying, I was reminded of Abraham and his great faith in God. Oh, how I wish I could be like that, to be a person who believes God, and believes what God says is true. In my heart, I do believe God. I believe He exists, and He is the One True God. What trips me up often, is a root of disappointment that has been living deep down in my heart for a very long time.

Disappointment means "the state of being disappointed." I had to look twice to find the root word, disappoint, and then note that it means this:

to fail to fulfill the expectations or wishes of or to defeat the fulfillment of (hopes, plans, etc.); thwart; frustrate.

Synonyms include: sadden, disenchant, disillusion, and dishearten

Disappointment can come in all shapes and sizes. For me, it stems from times in my past when I was asked to believe in a person or in a circumstance and then was asked to trust that what I was being told would come true. When you place your trust in people who disappoint, you quickly learn that it is wasted effort. Everyone fails to live up to promises, everyone makes mistakes. I am not talking about genuine or common mistakes, errors in judgment, expectations unmet. These are all normal parts of life, and we all experience them. What I am talking about are promises made that were unrealistic and untrue to begin with, yet were given in such a way as to make them "appear" true, trustworthy, and realistic and possible to come to pass.

It is these types of promises that cause disappointment of a deep sort, the kind that takes root in our heart and the kind that can lead us to stop trusting the individual or circumstance completely. A good example is a parent who promises a child that they will be there for them, and then consistently fails to show up (perhaps to an event, perhaps to daily life). I am talking about the type of promise that children receive often from parents, wives from their husbands, workers from their bosses, etc. Often they are generated from a position of authority, a person who HAS THE POWER to grant such a promise. Failure to fulfill their promise causes you to be disheartened, to lose faith in the person. This may be once or twice, or it may be repetitive. The more pernicious of the failed promise, the more easily it is for the root of disappointment to take hold and then grow.

Over the last few months, I have had to deal with several of these roots. The Lord likes to pull these weeds out by their roots. The problem is that we have become accustomed to them being there and we have believed the lie that they are not really a root (weed), but rather they are actually a blooming (thriving) plant. This is Satan's lie to us, that the weed growing in us is actually a good thing, it is actually beneficial to us. The truth is that no matter how pretty a weed looks (and here in AZ, we have some pretty weeds each spring), they all go to seed and spread more and more weeds in our yard. They choke out the good plants, the healthy seed. These weedy roots need to be pulled up by the Master Gardener Himself, and then replaced with beautiful seeds that will sprout the type of plants He desires to grow in the garden of our heart.

Beside the root of disappointment, I have also had to have the root of bitterness pulled out of my garden (heart). I have also had to learn how to deal with rejection and betrayal without becoming bitter. This has proven difficult, but I can now see good seed sprouting the plant of long-suffering patience. The root of disappointment, once pulled, will be replaced with the good seed of faith. This is the seed I want to grow in my heart. I want to believe that what I am being told, that the promises of God are "yea and Amen," and not simply wishful thinking. That God alone stands as the One who is Faithful and who ALWAYS KEEPS HIS PROMISES.

Dear brother or sister,

Do you have weedy roots in the garden of your heart? I am sure you can identify some, if you take the time to look over your soil. Is it full of weeds or full of good seeds, good seeds that are germinating and growing the type of plants the Holy Spirit of God wants in our heart? My prayer today is that you will take careful inventory of your garden plot. Ask the Master Gardener to remove any roots (weeds) and to tenderly plant new seed, the new seed of the Holy Spirit. May your garden grow good seed, good plants that will produce FRUITS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS today.

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