Jen’s Gem: Don’t wish for your faith to grow. Decide to grow it!
Years ago, I participated in a webinar hosted by a very successful entrepreneur. Over the course of several decades, she’d reinvented herself, each time enjoying the fruits of her labors. On this particular webinar, she was sharing the secrets of her success to a rapt audience of female business owners.
After the series had concluded, I kept in touch with several of the attendees. Nearly every one of them had the same thought:
“I wish my business was as successful as hers.”
While it appeared that this woman was an overnight success, the truth of the matter was she’d spent nearly her entire life building her business. She invested in it every day. She took classes. She sought out experts. She read a b-zillion books. In short, she did the work. She showed up. She persevered. We were newbies in the entrepreneurial space, yet we expected to get the same results.
These days, if you spend any time on social media, it appears that everyone has it all. Oh, and they got it overnight! Out of nowhere, a small business is discovered and is transformed into a multi-million dollar conglomerate. An undiscovered person in a fast food restaurant lands on the cover of a magazine or stars in a blockbuster movie.
What we don’t hear about from these people is the work they had to do prior to their big break. We don’t hear about the countless rejections, the hours of training, or their living conditions while they were preparing for their success. We fall into the trap of thinking that it all happened in a blink of an eye with no real effort. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
A few months back, my daughter was facing a particularly tough challenge. As I shared some suggestions on how she could get through it, I could see doubt in her face. My recommendations, of course, were based on my growing faith in God and His promises that I know are mine and hers. Her response was similar to the women on that webinar so many years ago:
“I wish I had your level of faith.”
My daughter, like those women on the webinar, thought that my faith “just happened.” She did not consider the effort I’ve put in over the past several years because of my fervent desire to know God and develop a relationship with Him and His Son, Jesus. Perhaps she thought I wished for faith and it appeared magically.
But I didn’t get it from wishing. I got it from taking action. I got it from doing my part and allowing God to do His. There’s nothing He wants more than to have a relationship with His children. However, relationships take time and effort. They take two people being committed to really getting to know the other so that the bonds of trust can be built.
Because of my perseverance, God has been faithful to me. Today, I know more about God’s character, His promises, and the blessings He has for those who seek Him. After two plus years in Bible study, I am still learning something new every week and I’m continually amazed.
However, many people abandon their faith because God didn’t answer a prayer or didn’t give them an answer in warp speed. They mistakenly assume that God didn’t hear them or worse, that He doesn’t care. Since we live in a “I want it now” world, instant gratification is the norm. We want what we want when we want it.
The thing is – God doesn’t work that way. God’s time is not our time as we read in Ecclesiastes 3:1 –
“There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.”
If I have learned anything over the past few years, it’s to trust in God’s timing. It’s always better than mine.
This week, I’d like to encourage you to take some action to deepen your faith. Pick up a Bible and read the New Testament. The Gospel of John is a great place to start. Perhaps, purchase a faith-based devotional, or simply, set aside five minutes at the start of your day to pray. Ask God to protect you and your loved ones. Ask Him to reveal His will for you. Ask Him to strengthen your faith.
It might not happen overnight, but it will happen.