The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
(Luke 17:5 NIV)
The cry of the apostles sums up my petition for myself these days. I need faith. Sometimes it is hard to believe God is good. Often life confuses and obscures what I think I want or need. Sometimes life feels downright unfair. Dark and gloomy doubts begin to whisper to me. And I begin to believe God doesn’t care after all.
This quote caused me to pause and think more deeply about God:
God is subtle, but he is not malicious.
I am still mulling it over. It is obvious that God is not malicious, but how often my griping and complaining cloaks my fear that God may be ambivalent. To think of God as subtle brings me strange comfort.
When I make requests of God, I expect answers, because He promises them. But sometimes, the answers are nuanced in ways that leave me raw and wondering. Other times, I get it. I feel like I hear Him directing and saying, “That’s it! Go that way! You’re listening now!” But either way, He is present. And He wants me to know, He is near. He is with us.
A conversation with God can ignite a lot of questions. Crackling like a campfire, talking with God sets into motion more mystery than I can bear at times. I have to step away from Him, just like when I stand too near the blazing bonfire on a summer night to get some relief from the heat.
As the fire burns down, I move closer again and I’m comforted in the presence of the glowing embers. The sparks sputter into the sky, and I wonder whether God catches them in the dark. In the dark, our faith grows into more faith, settling our hearts with His warm embrace.
Spirit of God, spark our faith, hope and love into new action each day.
Fill our lives with wonder and awe in your presence . . . (Roman Catholic)
In what ways do you experience God as subtle?