And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6 NIV
Without faith it is impossible to please God. What does this mean in my case?
Because the things that please God many times are counterintuitive, even going against logic. They often go against conventional wisdom, are counter to human ability, and often defy the limits of available resources. I won’t lie, obeying him by taking what looks like backward steps is bewildering.
I have learned that to receive and achieve what I desire means suspending self-reliance and depending totally on God. Trusting that because he is God, he can do the seemingly impossible, shift things around in ways previously unimagined, open doors in what looked like thick impenetrable walls. He is not bound by time and the one who has faith in his promises may see the results in ten minutes, in ten days, and even ten years. Can I please him by believing in a promise for ten years?
Pleasing God. I have to come to Him with curiosity, with the openness of a child who knows that there are things beyond her knowledge and awareness but is comfortable knowing that her father is all knowing.
Pleasing God. I am like a baby who squeals with delight when she is thrown up in the air, totally unaware that she could end up smashing down to the ground, just enjoying the delight, thrill and whoosh of the air as her father tosses her up and catches her again and again.
Pleasing God. I am that laughing baby, looking at His face and enjoying his strong grip. His countenance delights me because I can clearly see that he is glowing with pleasure that I, his beloved child, enjoys her father with such abandon.
But sometimes I cannot be that baby, oblivious to danger and pain. There are times I can see the hard ground down there and imagine what those jagged stones will do to me if I fall. It’s hard to take that leap of faith when I can clearly see the worst that could happen. Pleasing him means that I trust that if it comes to it, He will fall down with me, cushioning me against the impact of the fall.
And that even if there is no cushion and the rugged rocks shock me with pain he will pick me up and hold me. Not even the possibility that I may not get up will faze me. Whether the fall is disabling or fatal he will take care of me. I belong to him, he is my father and he is pleased with me.
Pleasing God takes many leaps of faith, of stepping onto paths that I cannot see the end of. Only the lamp he provides for my feet. Trusting him means that when I find myself veering off the right path and I am left standing in the darkness, I only have to be still. I have only to get quiet and listen to his voice, gently calling me, a whisper of love, comfort, grace and guidance.
Pleasing God means that when I hear him I obey even when I do not understand. And especially when no one else does. On those long nights when we engage in a wrestling match, pleasing him means that I am secure in his acceptance of my questions, my cries of why me-I can’t do this-it’s too much-but I failed last time-I’m weak and afraid-what if you don’t come through?!
Pleasing God means seeking to know him more, and even while knowing that I cannot fully know him, I can bask in the anticipation of every day dawning with more illumination. He rewards those who diligently seek him, so how can I not? Trusting him means that one day I will see the whole tapestry of my life in its full beauty, even if right now, I can only see how some threads connect here and there.