I sit here in the ninth month (no, I'm not pregnant, I am referring to the ninth month of the year), and I can't help but look back at the beginning.
I chose a word to focus on this year. Act.
Am I acting? Am I taking action? Am I making moves and stepping out?
Maybe. Some. A little. More than last year.
I am still struggling to understand action. Not action as a word, but action as a daily act in my life. And here I am at the nine month mark, and not yet ready to birth this baby, this plan, this new me. Longing for that completion that leads to a new beginning, and not yet sure how to make it happen.
Yesterday I read an old verse with new eyes:
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you." ~Luke 17:5-6
In the past I have read that as, "Just have a little bit of faith, and you can do stuff," and thought about all the sermon illustrations about just how small a mustard seed really is. But yesterday, I saw something more.
These men asked Jesus to increase their faith (so often I have asked for the same thing), and Jesus looked at them, these men who clearly had some faith - they were following Him, they were apostles, they believed He had the power to increase their faith; that is at least a mustard seed - and, in effect, He told them to use the faith they already have.
It isn't about an increase in faith; it is about using your faith. Use it. Tell that tree to move. As you see your faith working, it will increase.
Later in that same chapter, Jesus heals ten lepers. Only one of them comes back to say thank you, and after Jesus points out that only this one, a foreigner, returned, this happens:
Then He said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” ~Luke 17:19
Your faith has made you well.
You used your faith, and something happened. It was not a question of how much faith he had, or how much faith the other nine lepers had. It was a question of using their faith. It was a question of action. The action of using their faith made them well.
Don't just stay here in this place; rise and go.
Go share your story. Action.
Go share your praise. Action.
Go share your faith. Action.
I looked back at my post from the beginning of this year, when I chose act as my one word to focus on, and saw the words from a friend that convicted me, and helped me choose this word:
"However many inspiring or encouraging words, truths, and promises we read or speak, what good will they do you if we do not act on them?"
What good is knowledge if I do not act on it?
What good is faith I do not use?
What good is life that is stagnant?
What good is a tree that does not grow, a branch that withers, a vine that does not produce grapes?
I think that was a contraction I just felt.
Did you choose a word for the year? How is that journey going?
Have you read something with new eyes or new understanding lately?
I would love to hear about it.