Faith. This all-important virtue seems almost instinctive for some, yet feels unattainable for others. Even if you feel you fall short on this spectrum of belief, here is a piece of good news: faith can begin with no more than a desire to believe.
When Christ questioned the father of a young man who needed healing, He promised him that “All things are possible to him that believeth.” Most of us can relate to the anguished father’s answering cry: “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” A sincere desire to believe and have faith is readily evident in this stalwart father. (Mark 9)
After the funeral of a family member, those who struggled with unbelief told the speaker who had confidently shared her belief in eternal life with families, “We wish we knew what you know.” Most likely, the speaker didn’t always “know,” but began with a desire to believe. She will now happily share her confidence and light to help nurture the seedlings of those who are at the beginning of the grand experiment of growing faith. Part of our desire to believe can be manifest by this humble willingness to borrow light from others which may be required as we begin.
Faith, in fact, has been compared to planting a seed. A gardener surely wants to believe the seeds she plants will grow and bloom. This belief leads to taking action and being vulnerable enough to plant the seeds and hope they will grow. It isn’t required that she know exactly how, why, and when the seed will sprout and grow; just the desire is enough to begin.
My own journey of faith followed this pattern. I was inspired by those who had faith, who seemed to know certain things were true about God and of our need to believe in Him. I wanted what they had. I was more than willing to conclude if those that I admired greatly had this knowledge, it was something of great worth that I should seek. I could confidently take the first step toward growing my own faith: a desire to believe. I am ever indebted to these friends, family members, and other people of faith for quietly encouraging me and sharing their faith as I set out to find my own.
An important element of this desire to believe is our intent to show patience as our faith grows, refusing to tear out the new plant because it grows so slowly. As we receive reassuring light and vision, we tend, water, and let our faith take root until it is a source of strength for us as well as other faith seekers.
My faith grew, slowly and almost imperceptibly, but it grew. The roots went deep and sustained my growing plant even when the winds of life tried to destroy it. It gave me strength to face trials and disappointments, and showed me that a continued desire to believe would be required to sustain its growth.
Gradually I realized that faith is not grown of pure logic and reasoning, with predictable and measurable results. Rather, it is a matter of the heart that grows and thrives; but, it begins with a desire to believe.
Faith and flowers: Photo by Alex Shute on Unsplash