Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. Ephesians 2:8, MSG.

I love the direct observations The Message translation makes about some of the most important matters in scripture. It appears that faith is one of those things that keeps us wrestling with life and our own circumstances. We either want to blame it or have it support us. We want it to be what we want it to be because that’s what gives us a sense that God is with us. However, is also feels like we’re not that determined to actually unwrap this gift of faith we’ve been given. Sure, we might take a little peek into it, but if it doesn’t give us the satisfaction we expect, we just throw the box back up on a shelf and forget about it. 

Lately, I’ve become more convinced than ever that God does not need me. He can do this world just fine without me. He will continue the plan He set in motion before anything was ever in black and white and before I even became a blip on a radar. He did all that and didn’t need me in the process. But here’s the thing, one day, I started opening the box, the one marked faith. I was curious. I didn’t understand how you got it or why you wanted it. I thought it had something to do with religion, but that’s only a tiny speck of it. It has everything to do with God, and my one simple belief that He exists, and He has big plans for the people who open up His box of faith. 

He doesn’t need me, but He wants me. He wants me to trust that He is real and that we can have a powerful relationship right here on this mixed-up planet. He wants me to trust that despite any news I may hear, He’s still got this, and He is in control. I didn’t make Him! He made me!

So today, I just want to remind you that it’s okay to struggle with faith, to ask questions, to shake your puny fist at God, because all of that is what you do in any relationship when you’re trying to understand it. And here’s the Good News! God wants you to understand that He is always, forever, beyond a shadow of a doubt present for you. Just keep unwrapping that gift of faith and He will fill you with surprise delight.

God gave you the gift of faith so that you could see His heart. His gift will sustain you your whole life. Heart to heart, faith to faith, God sees you right where you are.