“The smallest seed of faith is better than
the largest fruit of happiness.”
~Henry David Thoreau
I’ve found this to be true. I have had moments of happiness. Wonderful moments I visit in my mind’s eye often. But the past few years have been very difficult. Since the wreck my health has steadily gone downhill. And we’ve had family struggles I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. So, to talk of happiness…well…I’ve found it to be a bit elusive, at best.
Ed had a post this week on Thoreau and I liked the quote above. It speaks truth to me.
A seed of faith, even as small as a mustard seed, is better than happyfruit. Happiness is contingent upon our happenings…our circumstances. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen. To live in the moment, when the moment is so painful, takes faith. To get through this moment, to the next moment, takes hope and conviction that what’s not seen will, some day, come to fruition.
Reading Larry Crabb…still…
Is it really possible to change? Can a woman molested as a child really learn to embrace her sexuality? Do men with homosexual urges ever really become heterosexual? Can people who worry too much about money or their kids, or a couple whose marriage is not more exciting than a television rerun, or people with bad tempers really change?
The word “really” is the issue. In many people’s minds, change must be nearly complete — at least dramatic — or it doesn’t count…Evangelicals sometimes expect too much or, to put it more precisely, we look for a kind of change God hasn’t promised…We manage to interpret biblical teaching to support our longing for perfection. As a result, we measure our progress by standards we will never meet until heaven.
Paul prays we may be strengthened with “power through his Spirit in your inner being” and asserts that God is “able to do immmeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 4:16,20). We therefore claim God’s power as the guarantee of total change from pressure to peace, from disappointment to joy — and then live with an intolerable burden that either crushes us with despair or requires us to pretend we’re better than we are.
The idea that peace and joy might merely support us during times of struggle and sorrow rather than eliminate those times is not appealing. We want to do away with the necessary pain of living in a disappointing world as imperfect people. We insist on experiencing neither pain nor failure, so when the inevitable happens, it becomes reason for discouragement.
We will, of course, be flawless — one day. No hint of perverted desire, no sleepless nights when our mind races mercilessly from one worry to another, no fear of becoming close to people that’s fueled by memories of hurt. All that is ahead of us, in heaven. But for now, struggles continue. There is a necessary pain of living in this world that we must simply accept.
I’m learning how to deal with “the necessary pain of living in a disappointing world” as an imperfect person…
…and having a seed of faith in His plan for me.
Therefore we do not despair,
But even if our physical body is wearing away,
Our inner person is being renewed day by day.
For our momentary, light suffering is producing for us
An eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison
Because we are not looking at what can be seen
But at what cannot be seen.
For what can be seen is temporary,
But what cannot be seen is eternal.
~2 Corinthians 4:16-18