Last Sunday, I took a Spiritual Gifts assessment. I had done so several times in the past, and for the most part, the results stayed the same. However, I now trumped communications and hospitality with something unexpected.
According to this lengthy list of questions, I didn’t have just a little faith but off-the-charts faith. Sure, I chose the top score on all the questions concerning trusting God, but the results still stunned me. They also made me feel just a tad too happy with myself.
A Proud Faith
While I relished in the fact that I had faith, I thought about how God had brought me through having two babies in the NICU, job losses and changes, and finding the right home. Even more recently, he healed my dad of cancer.
Although these major life situations all had their own worries, for some reason I trusted in God to make everything okay. And He did.
Then a few curveballs came totally out of left field.
Faith Test #1
Monday evening a supposed rumor started on social media. Not a big deal, right? Usually, it isn’t except that this one held a lot of weight and concerned the possible rezoning of schools where we live. The alleged result would mean my kids would have to change schools. Not good considering we bought our home specifically for our kids to go to this school.
Especially how after I prayed and searched for a home that would meet my work needs of decent Internet speed plus that certain school zone. And how our home is the perfect size with the right amount of acreage for us. And how we bought our home when it wasn’t listed for sale. All answered prayers.
Had I trusted God with my perfect-on-paper faith, I would’ve gone to bed and woke up the next day to learn this wasn’t true. Instead, I had little faith and stayed up looking for land near the school and making plans to sell our home and move. I had this elaborate plan of where we would go, all while crying my eyes out over having to leave my perfect-for-us home.
At the same time, I got sucked into the social media drama and concocted a plan to make our voices heard! I would collect letters and cards from kids of all ages in the school system about how they loved going to that school. Not unlike Then, I would litter them all over the Board of Education meeting table like someone might present letters to Santa as evidence in a Hallmark movie.
All of this worry, no sleep and chewed fingernails for nothing.
Faith Test #2
After that test ended, I had to repent of my little faith. But a little too soon, I’m afraid.
Saturday, my husband and kids went to visit family in my new-to-me vehicle. Meanwhile, I cleaned the house. (And not to put up for sale – thank God!) When they returned, my husband told me he had bad news.
I half-listened as he explained the trouble they had with my new car on the way home. The whole time, I kept waiting for the punchline. Anyone who knows my husband knows how much he loves to set me up for a “just kidding,” since he’s the King of Keeping a Straight Face.
There was no punchline. No “just kidding.” Trust me, I asked.
Nope. The car I have owned for two weeks needed work.
Forget the fact that I still had my old car for now to drive or that it happened while he was driving instead of me. (A big blessing considering I married him partly for his Macgyver skills.) All I could think about was expensive repairs or possibly losing my new car.
Little faith, once more.
Big Faith for Little Things
That night, it was evident that God had been trying to speak to me all week.
Not only had little trials sprang up out of the blue, but I also had other warnings throughout the week. I had heard an encouraging testimony of faith Tuesday night. Then, on Wednesday night, we discussed more how people in Jesus’s day naively rode him off as just a “great man” despite mounds of evidence for faith in Him.
Sadly, I had focused so much on all the curve balls the devil threw my way that I never took time to listen to my baseball Coach. Had I listened to what God was trying to teach me, I would’ve gotten the hint that while I have faith for big things, I also need faith for little things.
As a Type-A, do-it-yourself kind of girl, I have made it a habit of taking care of the little things on my own.
If someone had a physical ailment? Pray, have faith. If something went wrong with my possesions or schedule? Find a way to fix it on my own and not bother God.
By putting little faith in little things, I was limiting God’s impact on my life. The God who numbers the hairs on my head. (And who keeps count of them as I constantly pluck out the graying ones.)
In worrying about minor details of life, I had acted as if those didn’t matter to God.
The Cares of Life
The end of Matthew 6 immediately came to my mind. In this passage, God talks about birds and flowers – two things considered far less valuable than people by everyone but maybe PETA. He takes care of all the minor details of the minor creations, so why shouldn’t I expect Him to take care of the minor details in my life?
Verse 30 of the New Living Translation even ends with “You have so little faith!”
Those five little words spoke straight to me and stayed with me as I read the rest of the passage about not worrying. It was true. I had acted like a Faith Fraud. When it came to little things, I had little faith.
The lesson I learned: Whether facing problems big or small, big faith beats out little faith any day. After all, if God takes the time to count all the hairs, He has time for anything.