“If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” Proverbs 3:24
My first experience of true faith took place around the age of 6 years old in a dark parking lot outside of Logan’s Steakhouse. I will never forget it…we had stood around waiting for our table, eating peanuts and throwing the shells on the floor. Very kid friendly, but I wasn’t having much fun.
When I was small, I was plagued by violent night terrors. If you aren’t familiar with what a night terror is, imagine a real life 3D nightmare where the dream events bubble over into real life. I remember countless occasions of waking up in screams – loud ones – the arms of my mom or dad braced tightly around my body to prevent me from doing whatever it was that I was so desperate to do. If they had let go, I would have slammed straight into the wall or done who knows what else.
That night as it got dark I began to dread those soon to come hours when I would lose consciousness and have no power over what type of darkness attacked my dreams. In that dimly lit parking lot sitting in our car, my mother asked if she could pray over me. As she did I suddenly realized that God was more powerful than this evil that visited me in the night.
In that split second, I believed. I grasped the fact that I was not defenseless. I had faith that God would protect me even after I went to sleep, and He did. Darkness was no longer permitted to attack my hours of rest after that night. I remember waking up the next morning filled with fresh thankfulness because I knew God had heard and answered our prayer. Victory was mine with Him.
That was my first taste of real faith…the faith of a child. The concept of God being near to me rather than a distant, mysterious figure…of him listening to my mother’s words in the car and caring deeply for me…this was something new.
“Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3-4
Since those early years, my faith has gotten more real and more raw. When I say raw, I mean not always warm and fuzzy. Not an on-call feeling and not an immediate answer. This is one of the aftereffects of age and soaking in the world instead of in the sovereign omnipresence of God.
Yet faith remains the unshakeable knowledge that God is love, that he is good, that he is pure, that he is the unchanging one who saves, and that his promises always have and always will come to pass. He declares us innocent as we turn to him and shields us from the enemy who tries to weasel his way into our sleeping and waking hours.
I am continually asking God to grow my faith, to strip away those layers of trust in the world. One thing I have learned is that the Holy Spirit will infuse us with the power of grace in the exact moment it is needed.
Rather than plan ahead that everything falls into place exactly as I am planning it, I have learned to put my faith in the assurance that this grace will illuminate my being in those precious moments when it is desperately needed. I also have faith that if I do so, I will be able to say these words as I bid farewell to this life and make my way toward the gleaming gates of heaven.
“As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God…I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me – the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on the day of his return.” (2 Timothy 4:6-8)
Rebecca Ryan is a twenty four year old Birmingham native with a heart for music, nature and the written word. When it comes to life, she has decided to put the pen down and let the true author take over, as His story is the only one truly worth reading. To read more of Rebecca’s BoP Bio, click here.
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