In the Absence of Faith, God Is

    I was ordained last Tuesday, May 10th, and considering I spent the majority of my Christian life not believing women should, or could be ordained, this was a true work of the Lord. I don’t question God’s will in my life anymore, and if by reason of man’s limited knowledge I stand before Jesus and learn I have missed the mark in the theological interpretation of womens’ roles (don’t tell my egalitarian son, Elijah), I am not afraid that his grace covers those who love and serve Him out of a pure heart. 

On being ordained, it has been a wild ride. Over the years I have heard many brothers and sisters in Christ “claim” greatness and set their sights upon things much higher than this homeschool mom of 27 years has. At one time I would have loved to have been something before man – to fill that feeling of inadequacy  as I stood naked before God – just me, a mother to 8 who had tried desperately and failed miserably to lose my sharp tongue, and failed even more at rejoicing in all things.

I repeatedly tell others that if you had said to me 6 years ago that I would be an ordained chaplain, I would have simply thought them a false prophet (seen plenty of those over the years) and with a hard and rebellious heart continued on my path.

Like Job, David and I have gone through many trials to know how to truly put our own thoughts aside and learn to seek the voice, will, and sovereignty of God, in our lives. Unlike Job, we have had an easy time of it – our losses have been few, our trauma’s minimal. Yet, His will is (and was) being accomplished in our lives and most importantly, we are learning more and more what it means to hear His voice, and walk in HIS ways.

I understand in part what Job stated, “I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted….I will ask You, and You instruct me.”

      1      Then Job answered the LORD and said,
      2      “I know that You can do all things,
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.

      3      ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
“Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”
      4      ‘Hear, now, and I will speak;
I will ask You, and You instruct me.’
      5      “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
But now my eye sees You;
      6      Therefore I retract,
And I repent in dust and ashes.” 

During the years of confusion, trials, and brokenness, there were many times that I wanted desperately to believe God. In the midst of pain, the presence of God can seem fleeting. With my background a great emphasis was placed on faith. Mark 9:23-24 seemed a contradiction, Jesus tells the father, “…all things possible to those who believe….” and the father responds, “Lord I do believe, help my unbelief” and yet Jesus healed his son anyway? How can unbelief and belief work together?

Those of the ‘hyper faith’ movement will tell you they cannot, under any circumstances, ever, work together. With faith, we get all we want, without faith, we get nothing. The presto- chango fix it kind of faith, that is touted in many churches, who want a quick fix, instant gospel answer, to fit in with our microwave, credit card, life is good, society.

In the sovereignty of God, no plan of His can be thwarted. The choice for us is whether He has to break us and remold us, or if he can just mold us from an original lump of clay. If we understand the sovereignty of God, or if we think we can always master, the Master.  I am the type that was molded, broken, and remolded, again, and again, and again.

God is full of mercy, and the father of the epileptic son called out for mercy – for pity. God’s plans cannot be thwarted and His mercy is new every morning. In the absence of faith – God is.

“All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?”Daniel 4:35. 

Thankfully I no longer want to restrain God’s hand, (most of the time), nor tell Him what to do, or how to do it. I just trust that by His grace and mercy I will stay on the course He has set before David and I, and that   when I feel the need to ask Him, “What have you done?” I will remember, in the absence of faith, God is.

New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Job 42:1–6). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Mk 9:23–24). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

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