Is Faith Really This Simple?
What 2020 taught me about my faith and at times, lack of it?
To put it simply, faith is something quite familiar to me. I always felt this; especially having grown and developed in the Pentecostal church. Faith was something we always raved about. Something everyone in the congregation could identify with. A thing at times we would boast of.
“Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see.” — Hebrews 11:1
‘I lost my job, but I held onto my faith and God surprised me with an amazing opportunity that was two times more than my previous salary in an ideal location’. Or..
‘I’ve been single for 39 years, and one day whilst waiting for the tube during my morning commute, a stranger handed me my rail card I had dropped and immediately I knew that was my husband — I just had this strong belief that that was him’. Immediately, if you glance slowly away from the microphone you’ve fixed your attention on, you’ll catch a few eyes fixed on you, or mouths slightly open at the shock of your testimony. I know at times, that has been me in the crowd somewhere. Silently imaging this exchange she is describing and wondering when God would do my own.
At some point during our journey and relationship with Christ, we either utter those words ourselves or have encountered them from the pulpit one Sunday. But for some reason, the events of 2020 and living through a pandemic, highlighted that my idea of faith was obscurely based on trying to avoid not having it. In other words, I appeared to keep the faith, in order for others not to see the lack of it in me. Better still, faith was something I believed in for others but never for myself. I had total confidence and belief regarding the lives and situations of others, but when it came to me, I was holding on to the proof of it rather than my conviction.
“You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” — Matthew 8:26
The worst thing about the pandemic for me is it revealed alot. It revealed our greatest fears, it amplified our silences in a way that became somewhat deafening, it shed light to the dark areas of our lives we actively avoid. Most importantly for a lot of us believers, it really exposed whether our practices are in fact our beliefs. It became quite simple to me, my faith was based on a building, being surrounded by believers, free to conceal my lack of it. It somehow became easier to understand for me, away from the fanfare of the church band, and the vibrancy of my Sunday best outfit — faith was me and God.
‘Faith was the assurance and confidence that our relationship (God and I) existed’
It was simply identifying and believing that our relationship existed and would continue to regardless. Regardless of whether I was in the pews at church or in the comfort of my armchair parched in the corner of my living room. Our relationship would still remain the same.
Just like Peter walking on water in Matthew 14:22–33, the issue wasnt his faith or directly his lack of it, it was the fact he wasnt confident that God would sustain him in the storm. I wonder if Peter, like many of us was more of a people person. Between the crowded comfort of the others in the boat, (similar to us in our churches) and the steady embrace of his teacher, Jesus coming to him at sea, he suddenly realised not just that he was walking on water, but realised more so that he was alone.
In recent times, I have begun the work of discerning how to responsibly live in the midst of this global health crisis, irrespective of times where I lose my way or episodes of loneliness. The simple message Matthew proclaims is that simply living in these moments, in life and history, as long as we are confident in our relationship with God and his presence, we have already won, already crossed the stormy seas and our faith is well and truly activated.
The simplicity of my faith is a concept I am still developing, but I now know that its ‘oh so basic’.
‘Simply living is the validation and understanding that my relationship with God well and truly exists — thats why faith is now so simple’
So here’s to us, that are simply living and living out scripture stylishly!
Your’ Style Scripts x