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It just takes faith

Rev. DiAnn Baxely

If you have ever worked with horses, you know that there are horses that don’t trust easily.

Years ago, I worked at a therapeutic riding stable. One day I was leaning against a stall watching the kids ride while I ate an apple. Suddenly a horse popped his head over my shoulder and stole my apple. I was surprised, but laughed at the cheekiness of this horse. The next time I brought an extra apple.

It only took a few days until this horse was resting his head on my shoulder. I held my apple in one hand and his in the other and together we watched the kids ride while eating our apples. This went on for days and soon we had bonded.

One day the owner of this horse came to the stables. He had heard about the horse and me. It turns out this horse was a thoroughbred racehorse with a mean streak, throwing the jockeys and biting the owner. The owner was surprised that this horse didn’t hurt me given the horse’s history.

I can’t explain it, but maybe it was because I wasn’t expecting anything from this horse but to share the wooden planks that separated us, and had faith and trust that we two beings of God could share a meal and a wall in peace.

When you ask someone to do something for you, do you expect it to be done immediately? Or, are you patient and loving, giving them time to complete the task.

God waits for us patiently, lovingly, forgivingly, holding out the food of salvation through Christ. In our busy and full lives, we try to do everything ourselves. We forget that God is there to help us with every aspect of our lives.

We just need to stop, take a breath and start trusting, and leaning on God – and that takes faith. We must have faith that God will work wonders in our lives, but that isn’t always easy.

Luke 17:6 says, “The Lord answered, “If you had faith as big as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, “Pull yourself up by the roots and plant yourself in the sea!” and it would obey you.'”

Fall is just around the corner and we have faith that this fall the leaves of the trees will turn color and fall to the ground. It is easy to have faith and trust in things we can see and touch. But what about those things we can’t see, like the unconditional Grace, forgiveness and salvation of a loving God?

Sometimes the kind of faith it takes to trust God with our lives seems too hard.

This week I encourage you to think of one small situation that you are hanging on to that has kept you from finding peace. Turn it over to God and trust!

As we practice letting go of the small things, we will find that it will get easier to trust God with the big things. When we let go and let God, the meaning of our lives will become clearer, and our mustard seed of faith will grow, flowering as a colorful burst of hope for our lives and the world.

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Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Rev. DiAnn Baxley of St. Luke’s United Church of Christ, Lock Haven.

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