I know, Lord. I know. But I can't see that far. I know you hold it all, all of it. But I want to hold it before I believe it. Can I do that? Can I hold it first?
I know you're capable to supply the need. And, I don't mind asking. But my belief wavers. My mind cries out, and scrambles to the closest worldly anchor—well, for a time they feel like anchors, all those things I think I control. And when I consider this and that, I doubt, I doubt, I doubt—my direction, my calling. What if my faith veers me and I don't know it? What if my intentions, which I think true, are really clouded with pride?
Oh my God, why do I stumble over my own feet? Why do I foster a spirit of fear—the bedfellow of doubt? Where does fear fit in with my relationship with you?
Forgive my selfishness and worrying heart. Forgive my shortsightedness. Even though I stumble over my weak heart I cannot fall far from your mercy. Your graciousness picks me up and I, once again life.
Your words to Isaiah comfort me. Your arm is not too short to save. I create the barrier, I build the wall—me and my sin. I lose sight of Your vision for me, how you desire my triumph. I sit making mud pies when the vineyard sprawls just beyond the bend. Why can't I see?
But you opened my eyes, O Lord! I see the veil hiding me from you. Of course You hear me. Of course You possess the strength to save. Your beauty, to me, is your steadfastness. You can't disown yourself. Even when I stammer in my faithlessness You remain faithful.
And there you are, O Lord, my God, dressed in your armor: your breastplate of righteousness, helmet of salvation, garments of vengeance, your cloak of zeal. You come riding to me, to me! You come on the intensity of a flood that you cause with your breath!
You are my Warrior God. You shoot the shoots of deliverance with strands of love and kindness following behind. You stoop to feed! I eat and I am filled. You bends to help, even when I can't help but to wallow in my pride and doubt and muck.
"Make a promise to me now, reassure me somehow … I have a feeling in my soul and I pray that I'm not wrong, the life I have now it is only the beginning. Feels like I'm born again! Feels like I'm living!" (Lyric, Mac Powell)
Timothy Willard is the author of five books, including Longing For More: Daily Reflections on Finding God in the Rhythms of Life and the forthcoming The Life-Giving Adventure of Chasing Beauty (Eerdmans, 2019). He has collaborated on over 20 books and has written, consulted and served as spiritual director for organizations such as Chick-fil-A, Catalyst, Q Ideas and Praxis Labs. When he’s not riding the trails in the Appalachian mountains you can find him by the fire with his three daughters and his wife making up stories about Tom the back yard badger. He lives somewhere in the south Charlotte woods.