When both of my boys were growing up, they loved superheroes. I mean, what little boy isn’t fascinated with Batman and Superman who always arrive without a minute to spare and save the day? We’d sit on the living room floor with the miniature figurines and make up missions and rescues and cheer when the whole city was saved.
We would take Superman and have him fly toward the “burning” Lego skyscraper and swoop in just in time to save the family. All the while his cape was flying in the wind like a true hero.
I didn’t realize it then – in fact, it took years for me to realize it – but Superman wasn’t the only one who wore a cape. I wore a superhero cape too—my superhero cape was my faith.
My faith cape made me feel like I could fly, do super human stunts and be unaffected by all the stuff mere mortals dealt with. But, my faith was not designed to be a superhero cape. It is meant to be a blanket… a blanket of faith.
You see, we all have a blanket of faith. It’s woven together with the strands of what we believe about God and what we have experienced in our relationship with him. We wrap ourselves in this blanket and it helps us feel protected and comforted.
You may have a well-worn blanket of faith because you’ve walked with God for years and years. I do. My blanket of faith is over forty years old! Or, you may have a brand new blanket of faith, and you’re still learning how to wrap yourself in it.
No matter how long we’ve had our blankets of faith, we all feel more secure when we’re wrapped in them.
Then, life happens.
Your child gets sick… rip.
Your husband leaves… tear.
You can’t lose the weight… gash.
Life tears big holes in our blankets of faith, doesn’t it? We feel exposed and insecure. We wonder if our faith will really be enough to protect and comfort us. Every heartache we endure raises hard questions, and each question has the potential to tear a new hole in our blanket of faith.
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“God, do you care about me?”
“God, why won’t you heal me?”
The very faith we had hoped would shelter and comfort us suddenly feels inadequate and leaves us feeling even more vulnerable to the harsh winds of sorrow and fear.
Can you relate? I bet you can. Most of us have experienced some confusing circumstances and asked some tough questions. We all have some holes in our faith blankets.
Friend, I have not only asked hard questions, I have lived the questions, and you should have seen my blanket of faith; it was a tattered mess. And, to be honest, I was terrified because the one thing I had depended on - my faith – had been reduced to rags, and I was needy, vulnerable, and afraid.
Blindness had been ripping holes for years. Depression tore through the fibers of my faith. A breast cancer scare created gashes.
My blanket of faith was full of holes, and the holes showed me something I didn’t expect: I was using my blanket of faith as a superhero cape. It wasn’t intentional, but I had been wearing my faith as a symbol that I was super human and could soar above life’s circumstances.
I was wrong.
It’s hard to fly when your blanket of faith is full of holes, isn’t it? I tried to fill the holes with Bible study, but it wasn’t enough. I tried to run faster and jump higher, hoping my faith would catch a gust of holy wind that would lift me up again. Yet, my efforts were not enough.
The reason I couldn’t fix my blanket of faith and turn it back into a superhero cape was that the only One who can repair the blanket of faith is the Manufacturer – God. And, He didn’t create faith to be a superhero cape in the first place.
God alone can fill the holes in our faith because He is the Author and Finisher of our faith.
If you’ve been wearing your blanket of faith as a superhero cape, hoping it would help you feel or look good, take it off your shoulders. Lift it up to God and ask Him to strengthen every fiber. Ask Him to fill each and every hole with Himself.
Then, wrap it around you and let it comfort and shelter you. Cease striving my friend. Rest in your faith. When you rest in your faith rather than working so hard to repair your faith, you will find that God is enough. When you wrap yourself in your faith with humble dependence rather than draping your faith over you as a display of your abilities, you will begin to learn to rise above your circumstances.
Our blankets of faith should draw us closer to God – not draw attention to ourselves.
When we wear our blankets of faith as superhero capes, we strut like a peacock. But, when we wrap ourselves in our faith, we find we are as cared for as the sparrows.
When my tattered blanket of faith no longer let me soar and strut, God taught me that faith isn’t something we parade; it’s what we present to God in humility expecting Him to do the supernatural and show Himself as the Hero who fills all the holes and makes us whole.
Part of this blog is an excerpt from my book, “God is Just Not Fair: Finding Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense.” If this post hits a tender place in your heart, I’d love to recommend this book to you. God is using it to minister and heal hearts.
Question: What is one thing you’ve learned as you’ve grown in your faith?