Have you ever ridden a Ferris Wheel? There was one at a family fun center back in California that I remember riding a few times. I would climb into the seat, anticipating the ride ahead as the safety bar was lowered. Then the seat would jolt and we would begin to move. Up. Up. Up.
My stomach would turn a little as my eyes traveled down to the seats below. I looked out and realized just how high I was and I panicked just a little.
Just enough of a breeze blew through to cause my seat to swing back and forth slightly. All of the sudden that ride didn’t seem like such a great idea anymore…until we started descending again. Down. Down. Down. The motion left my stomach in my throat, but only for a moment, becasue once again I was close to the ground and life was good.
I think a life of faith is sometimes like riding a Ferris Wheel. We climb on board this faith journey with Jesus sitting beside us and we’re chomping at the bit to move. We’ve got this. We’re all in for Jesus. Maybe he’s given a promise or a word or an affirmation and we’re rearing to go and see what he’s going to do.
Then the ride begins.
At first it isn’t so bad, but the deeper into this faith journey we go, the higher we get, the shakier we get. This isn’t as easy as we thought. Doubt tries to take over and swings our seat more than we expected. We look down and fear slams into us because suddenly we have no control. We’re sitting way up here with only a seat and some metal keeping us from plummeting to the ground–we’re sitting here with only our faith in what we know about God keeping us from looking like complete fools. And quite possibly we may already look like fools to the world.
But then we start to descend toward the ground again and amidst all of our doubt, God does something crazy to prove himself. He reminds us that He really is in control and everything we’re hoping for, everything He’s promised will happen.
Despite what my logical, practical, rule-following mind has been telling me, faith isn’t always linear. Faith, and even contentment, aren’t terms that we’re striving for. They aren’t some standard to reach. What I mean is, faith isn’t on some scale of 1-10 and we’re shooting for a ten. In the world of shapes, both of these are more blob than box. They are fluid and changing and look a little different for each person, and sometimes each situation.
I say this because maybe you’re dealing with my struggle of trying to fit the label. You are trying to figure out if you’re content, and you think you are. You’re happy with life the way it is; but you feel discontent too becasue that desire keeps poking at you. You like life, but you want it to change too.
Or maybe the issue is faith. Maybe some days you feel like you have the faith to move a mountain. You believe and it doesn’t matter what your circumstances or your circle of friends say. But then the doubts come. You get tired of waiting on a promise, tired of believing God will come through because it’s just plain hard and it’s taking too long. Do you still have faith, or has that bit of doubt totally ruined it for you?
I think both of these words–faith and contentment–involve cycles. When the Lord came to us, called us out of our former lives, and asked us to walk with him, God knew that we would struggle. He knew that we would slip and fall and have trouble believing. He knew we would have days of desiring and being content. And he knew that we would experience the odd combination of doubt and belief, content and desire at the same time.
Just because you desire something, doesn’t mean you’re not content. Just because you have a few doubts, doesn’t mean you’ve lost faith.
It’s a cycle. We have our moments. And that’s okay. Our job isn’t to try and fit the label. Our job is to be open and honest with God and ourselves, and to just go along for the ride. And on days when we feel like we’ve failed, we can pick ourselves up and try again, start again–because his mercies are new each morning.
Embrace Ferris Wheel faith. Embrace #faithing. I coined that term this morning and I’m pretty fond of it: Faithing–verb–to embrace the endless ups and downs of faith, from being fully confident in God to doubting once again that he’ll come through; to continue walking with Jesus even when it’s a struggle.
Dear hearts, God has a clear picture of what’s going on in your heart. Stop trying to fit the label and enjoy the journey of #faithing!
Live in His love!
Related: Faith in the Ordinary Tasks