March 11, 2011 - Japan was shaken by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami. We all remember the pictures, the horror, the devastation, the staggering loss of lives. The faith of the Japanese people, who are well accustomed to frequent tremors, was severely shaken and they became fearful and uncertain of the future. As days and weeks passed, people around the world began to feel a measure of anxiety and doubt.
Perhaps your world and mine have not been rocked on this scale, but we all experience times when our faith in something or someone takes a direct hit. It may have been your faith in God, or in the systems and people that manage your health care, education, career, social welfare, or public safety.
The past three years have been such a season for me as I have had to deal simultaneously with various illnesses, surgeries, rehabilitation, and God closing the door on the ministry I had poured my life into for thirty-four years. Only recently have I begun to realize some of the valuable lessons I have learned in the midst of suffering. It's like putting the pieces of a puzzle together - only as more fit into place does the bigger picture become clearer.
Moses faced a faith-shaking experience after he decided to leave the comforts and perks of palace life and return to his own people. With all the confidence, respect, and authority he had become known for among the Egyptians, he expected the Jews to instantly recognize those qualities and adopt him as their rescuer from slavery. You can read about it in Exodus 2:11-15 and Acts 7:23-29.
But Moses assumed too much and instead of depending on the very God he had been raised to believe in, he rested on his own credentials. Big mistake! Plus, he took matters into his own hands and rather than gaining the trust of his people he lost it. And how did Moses react? He fled into the desert fearing the wrath of the Pharoah he had served. No doubt he wondered how things could go downhill so fast! His faith and confidence had received a challenging blow.
When you find your faith shaken, take comfort in these verses that I have returned to many times.
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man (woman) may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers them from them all." - Psalm 34:18-19 (New International Version)