Faith and fear

Mark 9:30-37

Faith is... hard. We usually don't talk about faith much. If we do we think it has to do with a list of do's or don't's. People display it by standing up for those principles of what they think is right. This week I have been reminded of how faith is this walk through the uncertain.

The Bible has the word faith a total of 267 times in it. You can break faith, have faith, have no faith, have little faith, have faith heal you, and even have great faith. The constant enemy of faith is not doubt, Paul Tillich wrote that every faithful person encounters a little doubt, it is what keeps our faith. The real enemy of faith is fear.

When we act out of fear we seem to have lost faith. We don't trust anyone, anything and we think we are better off acting on our own. We have the answers because our fear is compelling us to have the answers. Faith is a constant act of jumping off of fear. This is where the disciples stand today. In the midst of fear, fear of losing the man who is leading them, fear of death, fear of this not going the way they felt it should go. Do they talk about other things, who will be the greatest, what it might be like in Jesus/God's kingdom. Death and saying good bye do not exist. Jesus trying to explain this is not heard.

This might be why Jesus pulls this little child in. Think back to when you were a child. You climb a tree and never think about the height, you jump off cliffs into the water below and never think about the rocks, you swim in the river or ocean and never think about the currents, you build things with wild imaginings, you ask questions about anything, you dream you can be anything there are no limits imposed by fear, not until you grow older. This all takes on a different dimension when we're older because we know what disappointments we have faced, we know about falling, we add in what danger is, and we experience things that have become a part of us. Faith becomes harder.

Yet faith is what we work with every day. Its a part of letting go of our fears and letting wonder take over. Letting go of our fears and letting action take its place. Letting go of our fears and seeing new possibilities, creative solutions where none seemed to exist. When we let go of our fears we can then move mountains. Faith is a hard journey we make all our lives, it is not something we gain in a right and wrong list, it is only gained in learning to put aside our fears and living it.

So whenever your fears seem to overwhelm you, cloud the picture of hope, make you think you need to take some immediate action, breath. Breath and be still, hold that child in your lap and dream. Let go, let God take you forward, let God play with you in the fields of possibility and know you have started walking by faith again.