Faith in Process
We just celebrated the 4th of July and all the great expressions of patriotism that inspires. Throughout the year we get the opportunity to share our thoughts about how great this country is and how blessed we are to live here. But we are also a fickle people, and ultimately a selfish people. We can turn at the drop of a hat. The fact of the matter is, we support something when we get what we want but then bash it the minute it doesn’t make sense to us or we don’t agree. Case in point the ruling in the trial of Casey Anthony. In one week we’ve seen the greatness of America praised as well as a complete turn toward criticism and anger because it didn’t work the way we wanted it to. Most people believe Casey Anthony’s guilt, most people think she deserves to die, but our process in our constitution in our nation that was just spoken so highly of a few days ago and that most people say we need to follow closely provided the avenue for this woman to be found not guilty of a heinous crime. She we walk free in a week. We, as a nation, are angry. Angry at the result and immediately lose our faith in the process. It’s a confusing, twisting turn of emotion that happens continuously and I suppose it’s human nature. We want things to make sense. We want the villain to get it in the end. We want our view of justice to be served and not someone else’s. We quickly abandon the process as soon as it doesn’t jive with our desires and opinion of what is right.
The worst part is that we do this same thing to God and to the church. We very easily trust in God when it makes sense and things go the way we believe they should. But, as soon as something doesn’t make sense we tend to want to abandon the process, take away our trust, and try to make situations and life go the way we want. That’s not faith. That’s not true belief. That is dedication to convenience rather than to God. We want our faith when it makes our lives easier but turn quickly if we feel there isn’t anything in it for us. The same way many people in this nation this week have turned on our justice system with anger we thumb our nose at God and say, “You don’t know what you’re doing; I can do it better.” Many of us this week have thought that about the prosecutors, judge, and jury in this infamous case and we often do this to God as well. So then, the question becomes what do we really want? Do we want the process or do we want convenience?
The thing about the Constitution and our laws are they are written by humans who are imperfect and so therefore the perfect result is not going to be achieved every single time. By all apparent logic it would appear this woman killed her child, but according to our laws it could not be proven. The process worked, but it just didn’t give our desired result. We have to trust, however, that justice will be served because as Scripture says vengeance belongs to the Lord. If we want the process sometimes we have to live with the results. Same when it comes to our faith. If we truly want to believe in Jesus, want to follow him, desire to be his disciple, it means that we have to trust in the process he takes us through and live with the results. They may not always be what we pictured or dreamed, but the process is good and the one orchestrating is good too. We cannot cling to both process and convenience. We either choose to trust and let it play out or we be honest and say we think we can do it better. Riding the fence won’t fly.
This isn’t meant to be a defense of Casey Anthony or a justification for her actions or a ruling on her guilt/innocence. That’s not my job and it’s not a task I want. This is just merely an observance of human nature that I believe affects our relationship with God. I know I struggle with trusting God’s process. I’ll leave you with this story. I had a conversation with someone one evening where we were discussing the times and finances. Her family had seen their financial situation change as the economy had turned, just like many others have. She realized, however, they were still tithing based on their previous income. As a family they decided they would trust God and keep giving what they were giving. I’ll never forget what she said: “Brandon I could show you the books and numbers. It shouldn’t have worked. We shouldn’t have been able to pay out everything we needed to, but somehow every month it’s worked.” That statement confronted me then and still does today.
Can you have faith in the process?