March 2, 2016 | by: Maureen Maniquis | 0 Comments
Posted in: Gospel Living
There’s a very well-known verse that Christians have quoted for years. “For we live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) It can be easy to rattle that off when life’s struggles are more like inconveniences than burdens. It doesn’t require a digging down into the core of what you really believe about God. Inconveniences versus burdens are worlds apart when it comes to faith. Burdens can shake your core like an 8.2 quake in a matter of minutes. It’s that shock-wave that ripples through your soul when an unexpected burden slams up against you and knocks you to the ground. Everything seems to move in slow-motion as you sit there stunned for a moment-in-time. Then the anxiety kicks in as the action speeds up and the fear envelops you like a coffin. Thoughts start suffocating you as you gasp for air and you find yourself saying, “Where are you God? How could this happen?"
In these moments of utter chaos we can often feel a sense of betrayal; like this whole faith-thing is just some cruel joke we fell for long ago. Anger can become our new normal as we try to fight against this situation in which we find ourselves. Through it all we keep talking to God. We hash out all the grievances teetering between accusations and begging. In our human grief we need to see God. We want our faith to have sight. We want to understand. We want him to tell us why. We want to bargain with him to make it all right again. We want him to heal our illness, save our marriage, fix our family, take away our hurt; make it all right again!
Then finally, the digging begins; a drilling down to the core of faith. The desire to understand doesn’t so much leave but rather recedes to the background. What now becomes paramount is the ability to live in the new norm of this burden. How do I do this? What does this look like, this faith-thing? This is where the real sight is born; the soul-sight of faith. It’s only in the depths, where His Spirit lives; that He is most often seen. And as our burdens drive us deeper into the core of our faith, our vision catches sharper glimpses of Him. Our soul-sight senses His presence in the darkness as we feel His cloak brush against us. This cloak is plush with His power; it’s emanating with knowledge, love, holiness, wisdom, faithfulness, justice, mercy, and grace. It feels warm and comforting and our breathing begins to steady just because He is near.
He may not give us understanding as to the “why” of our present circumstances; it may have to wait for another time. He knows that our soul-sight is what we will need to live in the land. He makes no promises of a burden free life, only the promise that He will never leave us or abandon us. He will wrap us in His cloak and hold us near until the fear subsides. And with every wrap of the cloak our soul gains sight as we walk by faith…
Maureen Maniquis moved to Florida 10 years ago from Bern, Switzerland where she and her husband were living for 6 years while working at the American Embassy. While there, they helped plant an English speaking church in the heart of the city that still thrives today to meet the needs of expats who desire to be a part of a community of fellow believers. Maureen has been a part of the Restoration Church Core Team since its plant in 2010 and currently serves on the Hospitality Team and Prayer Team and will be a regular contributor to our blogs. She has published a book of her memoirs and is a passionate writer on Gospel living and pointing people to the heart of Jesus. maureenmaniquis-blog.com