The Budster was napping and I had a few minutes before my next call so I thought I’d see if he wanted to go out.
Me: “Buddy, do you want to go outside?”
[No response] Me: “Buddy?”
[No response] Me: “Hellooo Budster.”
[No response] The Missus: “Is he alright?”
Me: “I’m not sure. What’d you do to him?”
The Missus: “I fed him.”
Me: “That would do it.”
There are a lot of topics that could be addressed from this short conversation. How we should be satisfied with our portion in life. On average, people unnecessarily replace their cellphones every two years. Or our responsibility to care for those who cannot care for themselves. Dogs and cats lack opposing thumbs. We have those so it’s our job to… We could even delve into the topic of overeating. Did you know that in the United States, there are 41.7 million men and 46.1 million women who are obese?
One might say the Budster was napping because his belly was full. On the other hand, you could say that he thoroughly enjoyed his breakfast because he was at peace and he was asleep because he was at peace.
We’ve seen animals eat when they are not at peace, haven’t we? They cautiously take a bite and nervously look around before taking another bite. They sleep light, ready to spring in to action. They are even hyper alert when they move around. Anxiety is more than a lack of peace. It is more than a state of unrest or even heightened awareness. Anxiety brings a whole new level of responsibility. It is saying, “I am at risk and have to look out for myself because no one else will.” Granted, anxiety can be caused by a chemical imbalance but the pharmaceutical companies only have a hammer so to them, everything looks like a nail. Their answer to everything is, [BAM!] “We’ve got a pill for that.” Got a cold? [BAM!] Pill. Headache? [BAM!] Pill. Can’t remember your anniversary? [BAM!] Pill.
I am not judging anyone who takes pills. I don’t know the circumstances. Even if I did I wouldn’t judge. That’s not what this is about. Isn’t it sad that I feel compelled to add disclaimers to positive message?
Buddy doesn’t need a pill to sleep or rest or run happily in the the yard because he’s got peace and he has that peace because he has faith. Buddy knows we will take care of him. He knows we will feed him and keep him warm in the winter, cool in the summer and dry when it rains.
We believe that God will meet our needs but the word believe may not always be the same as know. All too often that word believe really means hope. We hope God will meet our needs. We use believe because that’s the Christian thing to do.
Hebrews 11:1 [KJV] Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
The New English Version [NET] says it this way:
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see.
Life gets ugly sometimes and during those times our faith may slide into hope but that doesn’t mean we have lost faith in God. It only means that life is ugly and we’re struggling. We’re not quite convinced but we’re really trying. We will get through the ugly time and our faith will grow because of that victory.
Romans 12:3 says that God has given to each of us a measure of faith. Some view faith like a light switch, it’s either on or off. In reality, faith is a living thing. We have been given a seed which we plant and nurture and like a tree, it grows. Our faith starts out small and delicate but with attention, it eventually becomes strong enough to withstand bitter cold, blistering heat, strong winds and torrential rains. But it didn’t start out that way.
Buddy didn’t start out with unquestionable faith in us. He didn’t throw care to the wind. Over time his faith in us grew but he doesn’t live life with reckless abandon. He still gets nervous sometimes and when he does, we hold him close and encourage him.
How much more does your heavenly Father love and care for you?