What to do about Paris: how to have faith when it’s all falling apart

I don’t have all the answers for why things happened in Paris the way they did. I wish I did. Then you could sit down with a cup of coffee and read this little blog entry and feel better about the world.

Usually after things like this, people start questioning how a good God could allow something like this. And while we’re talking about it, let’s admit it, both believers and unbelievers have these thoughts. Believers may even question their faith or be timid because they do not know how to share Jesus in light of a horrible tragedy.

May I share what the Spirit showed me as I pondered these very things?

Luke 17:5-10

The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.”

The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it would obey you!

“When a servant comes in from plowing or taking care of sheep, does his master say, ‘Come in and eat with me’? No, he says, ‘Prepare my meal, put on your apron, and serve me while I eat. Then you can eat later.’ And does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do? Of course not. In the same way, when you obey me you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.’”

I know what you’re thinking. What the heck does that have to do with Paris? But we too are asking God in the midst of the Parisian tragedy, show me how to have faith. In fact, show me how to increase my faith.

There are two things going on here.

Having enough faith to uproot a tree,

and having enough faith to do your chores.

Let’s take a break from uprooting trees and go to the chores first.

In the passage the servant has just finished plowing the field and taking care of the sheep. After all that he’s supposed to come into the house and continue serving the master by preparing a meal. Notice that the servant doesn’t expect any reward for doing any of his chores. And he’s supposed to do them with obedience.

We are called, like this servant, to be faithful to Christ in the small, mundane things of everyday living, like doing chores. Serving a meal and doing chores are seemingly small tasks to us, but slow down and see how much importance God is placing on the small tasks.

It’s in faithfully doing these mundane tasks over and over that God changes our faithfulness into faith.

So, once we practice plowing the fields, taking care of the sheep, serving meals,

doing a load of laundry,

cleaning up after the kids,

having carpool duty,

or putting together one more report for our boss,

then we will be able to uproot trees

then we will have enough faith to stand firm when there’s a terrorist attack.

How do you and I handle the seemingly small tasks? Do we handle them with grace, practicing faithfulness in our day-to-day living? Or do we disregard these “meaningless” duties, thinking them beneath us?

IMG_3539We so dislike having to do the small things first and like to skip straight to uprooting that mulberry tree.  But without being faithful in the small things, we can’t be faithful during the big things, like Paris.

And you know what? Having uprooting faith in a good God doesn’t always look like we think it should.  On this side of heaven, we may never know why God allowed the attacks to take place. Right now, I don’t have all the answers for Paris.  I could give you a bunch of ideas, but who am I kidding?  My thoughts are not his thoughts, nor my ways his ways.

 

And guess what?  It’s OK to not have all the answers.

Sometimes uprooting-tree faith is not having all the answers, but resting, knowing that God does.

Can I say it again? Just incase you missed it?

You don’t have to have all the answers for Paris. Rest knowing that God does and that’s enough.

In the mean time, pray for those who were in the very middle of it all. Pray for God to use it to open doors to unbelievers’ hearts. That instead of a terrorist attack turning them from God, it would turn them to God.

One witness said, “I saw my final hour unfurl before me, I thought this was the end. I thought, ‘I’m finished, I’m finished.’”

Oh, that those witnesses would be drawn to Jesus as they look for answers.

Oh, that those witnesses would be secure knowing where they are going when it is their final hour.

In light of Paris, the Spirit is calling us to remain faithful, to have faith in him regardless of our comprehension.

When we can have faith in him during these tragedies, may I be so bold to say that it is like having enough faith to uproot trees.

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