Faith That Endures When Faith has Failed*

P1000358-001God, I have not given up on you yet. I know you are still my provider. I know you will meet my needs; sometimes naturally, at other times, supernaturally. But while I wait, I also lament. Have you heard my cry?

  • I have God; in spite of my faithlessness
  • I was thanking God within my spirit and praying for others who are also facing challenges
  • He was almost in tears. He doesn’t see how he can “live out” his passion. God, I leave that to you.
  • God help me to stay hopeful.
  • Why are some prayers answered and not others; why God, why?
  • God surprise me today

God I do not hear from you. Is this what faith is all about; to believe still, in the face silence? Did the saints of old encounter this stone silence? I pray that I will not fail this test for I want to be counted as one your saints.

Give me wisdom, give me discernment; give me patience, but above all God give me Faith; “faith that endures when faith has failed” (McLaren, p.176).


*McLaren, B. (2011). Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words. New York. HarperCollins Publisher.

The Beatitudes (You Are Blessed, vs 4)

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted (Matthew, 5:4 NIV)

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you” (The Message).

What a paradoxical statement!  How can that be? Let’s think this through? What’s dear to us can vary over time and/or we can have many things that are dear to us:

            A pet

            Our jobs (careers)


            Our spouse

            Our church

            Our brothers, our sisters, our homes, you name it.

For me it was the loss of a job and to certain extent a career that I spent 30 years building.

But you know I am surviving. I am embracing the process and learning to live by faith one day at a time.

I trust God to take care of me; yes, for the essentials (shelter, food, clothing, etc) and for the existential (the meaning of life, why me God, etc).

Yes it is scary, but I embrace this uncertainty, this mystery because the Lord has taught me that He is my shepherd and I shall not want (Psalm 23:1) and that He will carry my burdens daily (Psalm 68:19). 

So in this time of loss, uncertainty and yes, questioning, my faith in my God is unwavering.

I know that God hears my sighs, sees my tears and even when I cannot pray intercedes for me with groans that words cannot express (Roman 8:26); and because of this, I know without doubt that I am in God’s care and in His will. Amen.




The Beatitudes (You Are Blessed)

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3 NIV).

“You are blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule” (The Message, Matthew 5:3).

God, I am at the end of my rope right now. In fact, I am losing my grip. I wouldn’t want to wish this _____________ (you name it) on anyone. But you said that I am blessed.

How can that be? Explain that to me? It is like I am in an endless pit. Teach me the secret of more of you. I want that reality for my life.

But then it hits me. If I put my focus on you instead of my problems I will feel blessed; blessed in such a way that I want to help others. One writer said that when we allow God to translate our problems into a ministry that our pain becomes someone else’s gain.*

We learned that when we are poor in spirit, we have more of God; and, isn’t that what we pray for anyway.

 So as I pray daily, I remain hopeful, even as the grip gets tighter, in the words found in Ecclesiastes 7:8:

The end of a matter is better than its beginning,

 and patience is better than pride.


*Batterson, M. (2006). In a pit with a lion on a snowy day.Colorado Springs: Multnomah Books




Our Paradox, Not God’s

I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy” My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God” (NIV).

As we, the faithful contemplate your silence; we can come dangerously close to questioning your existence. Where are the angels, do we really have a Heavenly Parent? Who is this Jesus, “the supposed Son” and oh yes, our comforter, the Holy Spirit? It is easier, but not comforting, to believe the “foolish ones;” who say when we die we simply cease to exist or disappear into a great, dark abyss.

How else can we explain the killings and assaults on human lives? How else can we explain the hatred, the injustice and discrimination of the vulnerable or those who are different?

How else can we explain the loss of lives and properties by tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and other storms that this evil world creates; how else can we explain 9/11 and the purposeful goal of one group to annihilate another. Our history, the world’s history bears this out.

What loving God would allow such destruction, such evil?

O, but then, a gentle spirit reminds us of the great mystery; the mystery of the Cross and the desires of our hearts to fight for justice, to right the wrongs and to help the helpless and the loss.

What causes us to praise YOU in the midst of these injustices; even when they are at our front doors? O God, we are “as the deer that desire cold fresh water, our soul pants for you O God. Our soul thirsts for YOU, the living God.” (Psalm 42:1-2).

Some say that you thirst too; you thirst to have a relationship with us. Some believe that you too cry along with us as evil tramples upon us. So, why the silence; aren’t you the omnipotent one? So what’s the answer Lord? Is life meant to be a struggle always?

So as I anxiously waited and prayed, with multitude of doubts, God gave me a glimpse of heaven; yes, I had a peek. I had a peek of heaven, not visually, but within my soul. O what an adventure. It is hard to put into words, but my soul was fueled with joy and thanksgiving. It was a wonderful gift; a miniscule sample of things to come.

So in this silence God strengthened my faith and I realized that things happen in this world that is unexplainable. So will my lot in life improve because of this, not really? I am no different from anyone else who has suffered and will suffer. My job is, to partner with God, to the best my understanding and abilities, to make heaven on earth for others.

My Plans Are Your Plans


This is written for all wise servant leaders and those who ache to do God’s will


  “Here am I,” said Mary;

“I am the Lord’s servant; as you have spoken, so be it.”  Luke 1:38 (NEB)

 I surrender Lord. My plans are your plans. My wants are your wants.

Though I have doubts and fear; I trust you will show me the way. But count on me Lord to seek clarifications as I pray daily to be at-one-ment with you.

I need not fear for my sustenance; my needs are to fulfill the needs of those who call out in the “wilderness.”

I surrender Lord. My plans are your plans. My wants are your wants. All I ask Lord is that you offer help along the way.


What Does God Want With Me?

“Only when we are willing to change and invite God to do his good pleasure in us, will the perplexity of our minds and the ache in our hearts abate” (Richard H. Schmidt, Praises, Prayers & Curses, p.35).

I wish I could agree with Mr. Schmidt. It sounds very logical. It’s an easy out to all the perplexing questions about life and all that our eyes see about life. But, then Psalm 13:2 rang strongly in my ears:

 “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?”

It may be a lifetime for me—because I am so stubborn. I want my cake now. What does God want with me (I have been studying Job)? I am a decent human being. I am no different from anyone else.

If God wants something from me—WHY DOESN’T GOD SPEAK CLEARLY? Why must I try to figure out this puzzle? Why must I play this game? I meditate daily; I am obedient to the commandments, yet, this loving God and the life that I live seem not to be in sync.

What do you have me to do Lord? What would you have me to do? Remove my fears; dampen my will; so I can be obedient to what you want me to do. And then God speaks:

You must remain flexible, teachable. I am the potter and you are the clay (Jeremiah 18:1-6).

God, I Need You to Be God Today

But now, O Israel, the LORD who created you says: “Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. 2 When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. 3 For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;” Isaiah 43:1-3.

God, I need you to be God today. I need you to be the God who spoke to Isaiah. I need you to be the God who will be with me on every winding road and detour in my life. I need you to be God during my difficult times, during my scary times, and during the times when my faith is weak. I need you to be God when I want to throw the towel in and call it quits.

God, I need you to be God today. I need you to be the God of love. Be the God who performs miracles, the God that heals. Hear my prayers oh Lord, be the compassionate God that wants the best for me.

God, I need you to be God today; the God I want to follow; the God I want to share with others; the one that the world so desperately needs.

I need a God that knows my heart, my soul, my every weakness, and despites my faults will love me anyway.

God we need you to be God today; the one that not only hears our prayers, but will answer our prayers; the one that brings hope to a new generation of believers and continue to comforts His current disciples.

God, we need you to be the God who spoke to Isaiah. The one that helps us weather our storms; the God whose footprints are in the sands; the God we can always count on.

God, I personally need you today. I need the God who promised to be with me until the end of my time. God, I need you today; will you be my Savior, my Isaiah God today?

This reflection is dedicated to all those who love God, but at the same time are deeply hurt and are hurting from a “silent God.” We would love to hear how God has spoken to you through this Isaish scripture.
Previously posted on Upward Edge ( on October 6, 2009

Take My Fears Away

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. (Psalm 34:4).

Oh God, take my fears away. My work is chaotic, my future uncertain, and I feel that I have so much to do. Where will I be in this new future?

Oh God, take my fears away. Trying to figure how I fit into the cosmos; trying to learn about you and your creation. Everything is so uncertain. My emotions are mixed; frightful, full of anxieties, to possibilities and hopeful transformation.

God take my fears away. I truly want to succeed. I truly want to make a difference, to make a mark; not for my sake, but for the sake of those hurting; those that are hungry, abused and oppressed.

God, take my fears away. It seems that death is more inviting and knowing than to debate with this world’s everyday drama. Where do I fit into all this; not knowing is too hard and too difficult to figure out.  It seems easier just to close my eyes; I don’t have to wonder anymore; not to be frightened anymore; not to give any more…, but God, I know you can take my fears away.

It is written in Psalm 34:19 that “A righteous man may have many troubles but the Lord delivers him from them all…” God, I am one of your faithful servants; and I seek to be a righteous person; one of your anointed ones. Therefore, I am not a quitter; never have been and never will be. I know that during times of fear and uncertainty you are there. I must be willing to put my trust and my hope in you. I must be willing to let you truly be in charge.

So God even through my fear and anxiety, I am reminded of your love. I will trust that LOVE to guide me and bring me new possibilities and deeper love for you. Let us pray.


Dear creator how can we doubt your love for us? God prepare us for trials, but also remind us that even through our toughest trials and fears that you are there with us. Remind us that you hear our cries everyday and when we allow you to be in charge; patiently waiting to discern your will, that all will be fine; even through our tears and fears.  We pray this in your Holy Name, Amen.

Doubts and Uncertainities

Everything is possible for him who believes. Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief! Mark 9:23b-24 NIV

Doubts and uncertainties; do you have them? I have them all the time. Listen to a few:

God help me keep the faith. Help me not to doubt you. Forgive me for my doubts. Give me the wisdom and the boldness to speak what I believe.

God give people a reason to praise you, to believe in you and to trust you. Yes God, we want those daily miracles. How else are we to believe, to not have doubts?

God, this is one of those days that I don’t know how to pray or feel worthy enough to pray. Forgive me Lord for my doubts and uncertainties; my doubts in you, but above all the doubts that I have in myself.

They say I am created in your image. They say that I am unique and one of a kind. They say that I am valued by you and that I can come to you in spite of my faults; that I am redeemed and accepted by you. They say that I am your ambassador here on earth. But I wonder; how can this be?

God help me to believe in myself. Help me to see what others see in me. Help me not to forget that I am your child, your ambassador. Help me to truly believe that I can do all things if I first truly believe in you and then believe in myself.  Amen.