I just read Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis, by Lauren Winner. She talks about hovering between belief and unbelief of God; it was very Anne Lamott-ish (whom I adore). (While we’re on the subject of you going to the library based upon my book recommendations, you should also pick up anything by Frederick Buechner. His word selection and arrangement is unreal and his honesty is rare and calming.) I love God all the time, but BELIEVING all the time is a struggle. He gets it though; I know because this dichotomy is in the Bible: “Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!”- Mark 9:24.
A lot of times when I am reading/meditating/being still… a word will sort of float its way up into my consciousness and then I’ll look it up in my Strong’s Concordance. (For someone who loves words, a Strong’s Concordance is the stuff of dreams.) I’ll sift through the verses until one grabs me and holds me. Here’s a verse that I love from last week:
“Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.”
I actually love all of that chapter because so much of it applies to the intense emotions involved with foster care, but this particular verse applies a lot to someone (that is… me), who can be a raging hypochondriac and anxious disaster. I used my Strong’s Concordance app (a FREE one- be still my heart) to click on each word and read the Hebrew definitions. I could tell you all of them, but my favorite was ‘confidence’, with a definition of “seat of the leaf fat”. Perhaps you are very, very wise and know what leaf fat is, but I pictured a fat… leaf… which leaf fat is most definitely NOT. Here is the dictionary definition of leaf fat:
“Adipose tissue, forming soft pads between organs, smoothing and rounding out body contours and furnishing a reserve supply of energy.”
Another definition stated leaf fat more simply as ‘lard’.
Love. I love this visual. This means that God is my padding. That God is my extra energy when I feel like I’ve run out of my own. It means that he softens the sharp contours of my life. It means that when I doubt, when I’m bitter because the child I can’t claim as my own asks where his other mama is and I have to share him, when I feel like I don’t have enough belief to cover my unbelief, God is my reserve energy. God is my lard.