Sometimes the notion of faith is misconstrued to mean that we should always walk around with a smile on our faces and just be so filled with God’s love that our paths are easy and carefree. If we are not happy, we are not faithful. Our struggles in faith are minimalized to a type of brainwashing in that we have to convince ourselves that we believe in God enough to get us through our times of trials. This is a very dangerous theology, because it suggests that God’s work in our lives is dependent on the depth of our faith. I don’t recall Jesus painting a picture of a happy carefree life as we skip through an endless field of daisies. Life is messy and we often equate God’s presence in our lives to how hard we work to discover the Divine reality.
While it is wonderful and amazing that we made the choice to accept God’s grace and love in our lives, it does not mean that the Holy Spirit waited to move within us at the moment of our belief. In fact, the creator of the universe has been working miracles in our lives long before we ever made a choice to accept the presence of God as a real and functioning part of who we are. God’s mercy is not dependent on our actions. This divine gift was given long before we ever discovered the Holy One.
I don’t know about you, but I want a God that will restore me and make me whole. That means I may still struggle with life, but I will do so with the awareness that God is present with me. I may continue to get angry, I may doubt, and I may even make some bad choices. The difference is that I will always return back to the one who gives me strength. I will acknowledge my imperfections by allowing that which is perfect to dwell within me. I will claim my truth; warts and all. My wholeness is found in returning to the One who has called me into relationship. Yes I still have times where I wonder who is on my side, but I always come back to my source of strength. The journey back to center is what it means to be whole.