This is the thing about stepping out in faith.
You never really know going into it if you are doing the right thing. At least that is how it works for me.
I may be pretty darn sure it’s the right thing to do. But there is always an element of queasiness. Will the water hold me up if I get out of the boat?
What if I start to sink? Will God catch me before I go under for the third time?
It doesn’t matter that I know His word promises He will be there and I know He has been there for me in the past – but – this is now. Today. What if I’m stepping out on my own here? What if this isn’t really His will? What if it’s all in my head and I just “think” it’s His will.
I have shared this story before with some of my own readers but I would like to share it with you. It’s a true story that happened a long time ago when my faith walk was still quite young.
At the time I was very involved with the Charismatic Renewal and excited about all the wonderful promises that seemed to go with it. This one particular day I was spending the afternoon by myself at the lake.
I had a little booklet on faith that I had just picked up. It was written by an author who made wonderful, glorious, promises about stepping out in faith. All we had to do he said, was do it.
The more I read, the more excited I got. Wow! I would like to experience the marvelous things this author was promising.
He was big on healing. I scratched my head and tried to think of something I needed to be healed of. I was pretty healthy at the time and the only thing I could come up with was that it would be nice not to have to wear glasses. (I am definitely a mole without my little bits of glass on my nose.)
That would do it I decided! I would ask God to heal my eyes so that I didn’t need to wear glasses. No problem for God, of course he did that sort of thing in the Bible all the time.
So I said a very fervent, faith-filled, by the book and from the heart prayer for God to heal my eyes.
Not a twinge, blink or rumble from the heavens. Nothing.
Well, that was disappointing. I went back to the booklet and read some more.
Aha! In order to prove one was really a believer one had to step out in real faith this guy said.
Do something, he stated that shows you are ready to put everything on the line.
I decided that in order to really, really prove that I believed in God and was trusting him 100% I needed to get rid of my glasses! Yep. Go for it. Step out in faith.
So I took care of that little situation.
I climbed up on the train trestle that was next to our cabin and I went to the middle of it and I took off my glasses and dropped them into the river.
Down, down, down. Splash! I assumed it made a splash. I couldn’t really see at that point because I am near sighted and that was a long way down to the water.
I waited for the glorious healing to happen.
I waited some more. I prayed some more. I read the booklet some more.
It was a beautiful day, the birds were singing, the sky was blue but there was definitely no sign of a healing angel or a heavenly ray from heaven coming anywhere near me.
I was on my own.
I was starting to feel stupid. Not only had I wasted money reading a booklet from someone who was full of hot air, I would now have to pay for a new set of glasses.
“Okay, God. This is not funny,” I said, “I did my part, aren’t you supposed to be doing something about now?”
I walked around feeling more stupid. I prayed a little more. An hour went by. A very slow hour.
Finally I went back into the lake cabin, continuing to pray and asking God what to do next.
I still had hope but it was definitely getting a little thin. How long was this supposed to take?
Once inside I picked up another book that I had often received encouragement from. Harold Hill’s, How to Live like a King’s Kid.
“God,” I prayed, “will you please tell me if I did the right thing? Please give me a sign.”
I opened the book at random. It flipped to an opening chapter with a cartoon. The image was of a funny little guy walking all over his house with squinched up eyes, knocking over lamps and falling over furniture because he couldn’t see.
This is what Harold wrote as close as I can remember.
And then there was this guy who was so sure that God was going to heal his eyesight that he threw away his glasses and walked around blind for two years . . .
I read with amazement! Well, dang! How obvious could God get.
Two years was a long time to wait on God. And who knows if this guy ever did get healed, he certainly hadn’t by the time the book was written.
Since I had no intention of walking around for a couple of years in this state I decided to pack up my pride and march myself up to my Aunt and Uncle’s house where I was staying. They were very spirit filled people. I walked in the house and said, “Well, you will never guess what I did!”
I told them the story.
You know what? They didn’t laugh.
They really didn’t. They were a bit amazed at my stepping out in faith like that but they didn’t seem to think it was that bad a thing. I had certainly done it with the best of intentions. At least as far as I thought it was.
My uncle went out and got his scuba gear and we all trooped down to the river. He dove down and in a couple of minutes popped up with my glasses. Held them up triumphantly with a big grin. They were in fine shape.
I put them on my nose and was glad to have my sight restored.
But here is the amazing, amazing thing. Although I did not receive a healing of my eyesight, I did receive a much bigger healing that has accompanied my whole faith journey from that point onwards.
You see, until the point of dropping my glasses over the bridge, I had always been afraid of stepping out. Of putting myself on the line. Of trusting God with my life.
I was afraid. I held back.
What if I was wrong? What if I didn’t understand correctly? What if I did something wrong?
I found out that doesn’t matter.
When you step out in faith and do what you “think” is right. God honors that. He may not do what you hope for. But He will make it okay. God will set you on the right track if you move with grace even in the wrong direction to start with.
He will always turn it out for good. No matter how silly or foolish we might be in our journey of faith, God will come and get us when we wander astray and keep us close to himself.
Patricia Proctor is an author, blogger, freelance writer and the creator of a free online Catholic Jigsaw Puzzle site called FamilyFunPuzzles. She is the author of 101 Inspirational Stories of the Rosary and 5 other books. She blogs daily from FamilyFunPuzzles/blog. Follow on twitter at @joyinjesusnet and Pinterest @joyinjesusnet/
Copyright 2013 Patricia Proctor