Over the years, I’ve tried to come up with ways to describe “faith” or the act of believing—searching for some examples from the everyday to help illustrate faith and belief for myself. As someone who sits at the back of the classroom, I need all the help I can get!
For example, from a household item, I got this: Faith and belief are like trying to fold a fitted bed sheet. You know what it is supposed to look like but can’t quite get it to fold perfectly. There’s always a wrinkle or an odd bulge or perhaps a tear or two if the sheet is well worn. But it’s never that neatly folded rectangle you know it can be! Can we say faith and belief aren’t easy and never seem to be as perfect as we think they should be?
Or how about this: faith and belief are a lot like dropping an ice cube on the floor and then trying to pick it up between your fingers. Elusive. Slippery. You see it and somehow just can’t grasp it. There’s a struggle as you chase it. Perhaps this example better describes the object of your faith, God, but nonetheless, our spiritual journey can be like trying to pick up an ice cube off the kitchen floor, or even a cube that slides under the refrigerator. Where did you go? Where are you?
Or, consider this as school winds down: perhaps faith is like a pencil. By the power of the Holy Spirit, it’s sharpened, used, then worn down and must be sharpened again in order to be used. A cycle that reminds us how God’s Word, when we remain in it, continually mends our dull and sinful hearts. And, in mending our hearts, sends out into the world to be used by Him for the sake of others. The process repeats itself as we respond to the Gospel and are used by God for His good purposes.
An oldie but a goodie is the saying, “Faith is like a mountain climber clinging to the mountain of grace.” I like that. The climber doesn’t save herself, but the mountain she climbs is what supports her, lies beneath her feet as she hikes up to the summit. Of course, we aren’t ascending to some god-like position—we’ve already been given all things in Christ Jesus, including his righteousness and love. You can sit at the bottom of the mountain of grace all day if you want, but faith clings to that which saves and that which saves is Jesus.
Anyway, as I try to come up with every day examples for myself, what about you? What objects or experiences resonate with you and remind you of faith and belief? Let me know; I’d love to hear from you! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Faith and Love,