Yesterday while in the car, God talked to me about faith.
He showed me my dining room and me calling a child down to set the table.
The child looked at me with a skeptical expression and asked, "Can I see the food first?"
I asked, "Why?" taken aback.
"To make sure you cooked."
A feeling of insult washed over me, even though it was only a scenario playing out in my mind, one that has never happened in real life.
But imagine if your child, or friend, or anyone who you'd invited to sit and eat at your table had to visually see and confirm there was indeed food before putting a single plate down.
In that moment I understood why Jesus often seemed so exasperated by the lack of faith around Him, displayed in His disciples. "You faithless generation, how long shall I suffer you?," He said.
It always sounded a bit harsh to me until I imagined a child who I've fed daily for their entire life needing to see that a meal existed before setting down a single plate.
There is a certain heartbreak over one who refuses to trust you while living in palm of your faithfulness, I realized.
I have a new appreciation for how He feels when we who have seen miracles and experienced, in full knowledge, His daily bread choose visuals over His track record.
Then He gave me another picture. This time, instead of my child at the dining table, it was an orphan. This child had never been cooked for, didn't know what it was like to sit down and have food show up but instead had to scheme for every bit of bread, eating it quickly lest it be taken.
This child not only had doubts about a meal existing but also, even if there was a meal, doubted it could be for them.
I know God was telling me there are those who have known mostly disappointment and the distrust and vehement self-sufficiency built in response has created a barrier to faith.
When it comes to faith, He's sees the complete vivesection of the measure we've been given, the attacks that it has faced, the hurts, and most importantly, a future where faith is restored and runs over.
He's fair. He knows what you've been through.
He'll walk with you and although He does not have to, He'll prove Himself so you can stand up like King David and say, "The God who saved me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the Phillistine."
He was always having the children of Israel pile up rocks in places He'd done something great to help our easily carried off minds remember. Remembering strengthens faith.
One day He'll ask you to set a table when you can't see, hear or smell anything cooking.
I encourage you to think about the the bears and lions whose teeth did not take your life. About the nights you were sustained by a certain gentle Voice. About the perfectly timed provision. Tend your rock monuments. And then place a plate on the table.