As I held the phone to my ear listening to my mother describe the fact that my father had cancer, and what kind it was and what the doctors had told her, I sat in front of the computer typing in the words to Google even as she spoke. Long after we hung up I poured over every page I found reading every word I could find. Then I would call her back and ask more questions.
I had to know what I was dealing with. What we were facing.
Facts became my coping mechanism.
When I grew frustrated with my mom not knowing the answers I drove up to talk to the doctor myself. The weekend he was dying I was calling the Hospice nurse asking her for what to expect, what would I see, what was going to happen. I had to know. It felt like if I had all of the information, knew what was coming, I could be ready.
It's a lie, really - beacause there are some things we just are never ready for. And therein lies my struggle for faith. Oh, I don't struggle with having faith that God exists, that He's come and will come again - those are givens. But it's the other stuff in my life. When I'm faced with what seems like a mountain before me - one that I can never tackle, never conquer - and the Word says something like...
"If you had faith like a mustard seed you could say to that mountain 'move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." (Mt 17:20)
Sounds pretty simple. But what do I do instead? I want to analyze the mountain to death. I pull out my measuring tape and take a thousand measurements. I stand back and rub my chin and calculate the distance. I take stock of my supplies and travelling companions. I look at all the facts to decide whether I can deal with the mountain before me. You can guess how I measure up to all of that.
So I'm in that place now in my life. Where God has spoken a word to my heart and has asked me to believe Him, trust Him - and not be consumed and focused on what I see in front of me. I know that if He resides in me, that He also has given me all that I need to do that. But actually letting go, can be harder than all the rock-climbing in the world.
So here's to ignoring the facts - and walking in faith. Here's to searching for His voice, instead of anyone else's.
So what mountain are you facing? Maybe it's time to step back and stop staring at the mountain, and start staring at Him. He's all we need. It's so easy to get side-tracked with the facts and lose faith but it's also easy to get refocused and find it again. Take a deep breath and just listen...