Have you heard the saying: “Put your money where your mouth is”? It means that we need to show by our actions and not just our words that we believe in something. This is ever so true when it comes to our faith because it is easy to *say* that we believe in Jesus, but when our faith is tested, we often find ourselves coming up short.
Let me tell you a parable. An acrobat named Charles Blondin once walked several times on a tightrope across the Niagara Falls between Canada and the United States as huge crowds looked on with awe. Once, he crossed in a sack, once on stilts, another time on a bicycle. On one occasion, he even carried a stove and cooked an omelet!
One day, Charles walked backward, pushing a wheelbarrow. When he got to the Canadian side, he asked his admiring audience: “Do you believe I can carry a person across in this wheelbarrow?” The crowd enthusiastically shouted that they believed! He smiled and said, “Wonderful! Now, who will get in the wheelbarrow for me?”
How many people do you think volunteered? Nobody! We find parallels when it comes to faith. Jesus healed the sick and drove out demons, and worked other assorted miracles when he walked upon the earth. People oohed and aahed as he worked these miracles, but when it came to responding to his call to discipleship—the true test of faith—they shied away.
Faith goes beyond declaring with the tongue that Jesus is Lord; it is believing it in the heart and following Jesus without question. We might lack such faith, but we can address this. One day Jesus told a man: “Everything is possible for one who believes.” And the man exclaimed: “I believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). He admitted to having faith but also acknowledged he had doubt.
So, how do we grow in faith? Paul said: “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Romans 10:17). They didn’t have Bibles in Paul’s day as we do today, so the message had to be heard as people like Paul proclaimed it. Today, however, Bibles are freely available, and we can *read* the word about Christ. Pick up a modern translation, so the text is easy to read and understand, and start building your faith.
I will resume the Daily Reflections on the Gospels in a few days, but this time in sequential order, gospel by gospel, chapter by chapter, breaking it down for easier understanding. However, these reflections are intended to aid your own reading, not a substitute for it, so please do open your Bible and start reading. And it soon will be done to you according to your faith!
May the Spirit be with you.