I have enjoyed laughing at the cleverness of one of our younger dancers over the last week. Her mother shared that she lost a tooth and was planning her bounty. Before she went to bed, her parents told her not to forget to place her tooth under her pillow for the tooth fairy to visit. Her response, “The tooth fairy is fake. No one on the universe has wings!” She is such a little smartie. After Sunday service, she reminded me, “Remember, there is no such thing as the tooth fairy.” I took the bait. “What about Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny?” She responded, “All fake.” Her mother then shared, “But she wants the benefits.” As they exited the building, I couldn’t agree more. We don’t always want to believe, but we certainly desire the benefits that believing can yield us.
Believing can be isolating. It requires being faithful, particularly through opportunities that present themselves as empty. Believing also puts you on blast! Yet we desire the end portion of Mathew 6:6, “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Much like my little friend, we desire the end product. However, it comes with a cost, and one that we are not always willing to pay.
Why? Because it hurts. Because it requires work. Because it may not always turn out the way that we’ve hoped. Because it exposes vulnerability. Because it calls out our deepest fear – that maybe, just maybe, all our efforts may be rooted in fake, similar to the ornamental representations like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. But, have you ever paused to consider, what difference does it make? My belief has nothing to do with anyone else; and the only other person that I must convince is the portion of me that is struggling to remain focused to stand upon the promises of God ( Jeremiah 29:11).
To be sure, we are living at a time that we cannot afford not to believe! No matter what is happening around me, or within the confines of this country, my faith is not for sale. Yes, we must collectively do the work – to fight for the oppressed and to create access where there are barriers, but that action is limiting minus the belief that our work will manifest positively and benefit those who need it most. Further, as we are instructed, faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, even though my little friend didn’t believe in the Tooth Fairy, she did believe in her parents to supply a response to her faith in action of placing her tooth underneath her pillow.
I believe in my Heavenly Father to supply what I need! I’m just a few years (or decades) beyond placing my tooth beneath my pillow. At this point, I’m just trying to yet hold on to what’s left! LOL! But I’ve not given up on my belief. And, for what’s it worth, it’s a good time to demonstrate child like faith in what may feel like a big scary adult world. Saying God is on the throne, God is in control and God is able is not cliche. In fact, its imperative that we make these statements, especially when the enemy of our souls is telling us differently. No matter what you believe or fear that will be taken away from you, no one or no thing can take away your faith. You are responsible for maintaining it despite the circumstances you find yourself navigating.
So what shall we place under our pillow? There are about 40 days left in 2016. What do you need to operationalize in relation to your faith? Employment, health, car, house, financial blessing, bills paid off, reuniting with loved ones, peace of mind? Place “it” under the pillow of your faith, and watch God respond! After all, in a world full of staged “reality,” we can hold true to the authenticity of God. Yes Virginia, there really is a God!