One of my views on how to live a life in faith is demonstrated by a granny knot. A granny knot is a poorly tied knot, usually done in haste, that ends up being very difficult to untie. Now, to get the knot untied, there are three truths:
This is like faith and life. First, you’re not going to go anywhere in your faith if you do not start with a basic belief in God. It may take time to get there, but without that starting point, nothing else will fully make sense, and you will get frustrated and quit. This belief passes all other issues that come up, and means that in the end, you will experience God’s grace.
Second, you need to live your life; don’t get too far ahead, don’t dwell in the past, but live. Sometimes you get to places that are harder than others, and you have to be more vigilant; and sometimes you can fly through because everything is working “as it should.”
Third, you need to let things play out. When we try to force a situation, bad things can, and often do, happen. Many years ago, when I taught beginning swimming, many kids were terrified of the water because of the way they had been forced to learn how to swim. Some were just thrown in, and others were under so much pressure, they could not get used to the water. Getting those kids with bad experiences to learn to swim was hard! But taking the time on land to let them move closer on their own made them more comfortable in the water.
In life and our struggles in faith, giving ourselves the grace that we need to work through a difficult time, not forcing things to be good right now, but letting them play out can help us to see things much clearer and end up working out much better. This is especially true when a bad time may give a glimpse into something much deeper.
This has proven true through various times and struggles in my life. Through the medical problems of my youth to the many struggles of adult life, where I have given myself grace and patience, things have often worked out as they ought. This is not about being passive. It is about being in the moment and working through the series of events. As with the granny knot, where you may have to work the strings back and forth to loosen the string, in life you may need to experiment to find what works. However, in time, if you have faith and patience, and continue to move forward, eventually you get through it.
Maybe the best way to sum all of this up is have faith in God, have faith in yourself, because God has faith in you.
Rev. Dr. Bryan James Franzen