January 4

“Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.” John 4:50

“When ye pray believe.” Mark 11:24

“You will never learn faith in comfortable surroundings. God gives us the promises in a quiet hour; God seals our covenants with great and gracious words, then He steps back and waits to see how much we believe; then He lets the tempter come, and the test seems to contradict all that He has spoken. It is then that faith wins its crown. That is the time to look up through the storm, and among the trembling, frightened seamen cry, ‘I believe God that it shall be even as it was told me.’” (Streams in the Desert)

Prayer is more alignment than it is activity, and confidence must always be placed in a Person, never circumstance. Faith is longing that refuses to be satiated by lesser things. It is desiring the Father far more than our request from Him. Faithless prayer reeks of desperation; faith pries us from our doubts and secures us firmly in the grip the Master. All else relinquishes its hold on us; better still, we stop clinging to shadows. There is something defining about living with longing; we are created for eternity.

“Does it mean something? What is the truth of this interminable, sprawling story we all of us are? Or is it absurd to ask about the truth of it as it is to ask about the truth of the wind howling through a crack under the door?” (F. Buechner)

We may not be allowed much more than a glimpse under the door, but if we stoop low and small enough we feel the wind of another world whisper against our cheek and pull us upward. The challenge is balancing contentment, a fitting companion for godliness, with a longing for Someone more. Fortunately, it is entirely possible to be at peace with our here and now while restlessly straining for the Author of the journey that is just now underway. The true currency of this life spent in gracious acts and loving words is a mere down payment on the hereafter. Sanctify the moment by unearthing the glory in and around you, all the while steering your heart toward home.

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