I'm writing this post at 3:30 am. That's right, in the morning. In the "dark watches of the night." I'm not sick. But I'm not sleeping either.This is where I'm most vulnerable. At night. In the dark. Where the worries and problems of the day or even weeks can make me sit in front of the computer and play solitaire until I can't see the cards anymore. I often feel this is a failing in my faith--this anxiety--not being able to sleep. If I believed, I tell myself, I wouldn't be worried about paying bills or how my son is doing across the country or even how my daughter is within the same state. Remember that symbolism about the "faith like a mustard seed"? That particular line comes from Matthew 17, verse 20: "He replied, 'Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Yeah, I think. I'm supposed to have THAT kind of faith. So where is it?
This is where the idea, though, of faith takes hold. Because when it seems hardest to believe, when you know you aren't in charge, when you have nothing else to grab onto, faith gives you something; something intangible. Grappling with questions of why the world is the way it is, how could people be so insensitive, where are we headed; we cannot answer those questions as we are, human. Of course, God isn't booming out the universal answers either, to those most anxious of problems--at least in my experience! And I've listened, believe me, with my hearing aids up full blast! My faith, though tells me that God is near. I just KNOW it. I can't prove it, or point my finger at something to justify that faith. The Holy Spirit is with me. Not solving the problems necessarily. Not erasing the anxiety. But sitting next to me, rubbing my shoulders, lending me strength, if I should just choose to accept it and stop fighting it. I'm not there yet. At 3:30, I'm still bringing up another round of solitaire and waiting for the sleep to kick in. Trying to beat back the worry. And trying to really, truly believe that my mustard seed faith is enough. It looks to be another long night.