For we live by faith, not by sight. -2 Corinthians 5:7
It sounds easy: trust God with everything and He'll take care of you! Really, how hard can it be?
A while back I came across the book "A Life of Miracles" by Don Schulze. It's basically the story of a family that started taking seriously the idea of asking God's guidance on every aspect of their life, then actually following that guidance. Throughout their story they tell about amazing adventures they had and how God provided for them at just the right time in just the right way. It wasn't easy and it wasn't clear all the time, but they kept trusting God and following His leadership and God blessed them and used them in amazing ways.
I feel like this book really captures the way we've chosen to live our lives, especially over the past few years. When we started this journey, we didn't know where it would lead. We didn't know what it would take. We've had so many ups and downs, amazing moments and deep hurt. We've lived in a deeply uncomfortable state of uncertainty for almost a year now and we just keep wondering what God's doing and when it'll happen...whatever it is. We both really want to be in a situation where we can feel "settled" and "safe", but that's not where God has us.
Living by faith is one of those things that sounds so very "Christian" and many people like to say that they are, but I don't think that many of them really are. The Christian cultural idea of "living by faith" is a path fraught with pithy feel-good quotes, Bible verses often taken out of context, and self-help advice. The reality is that living this kind of a lifestyle is truly surrendering everything in your life to God's leading and guidance and not trying to "fix" things yourself.
So many American Christians like to say they're living by faith, but yet they look down on people who don't "pull themselves up by their bootstraps." They like to say they trust God, but can't handle if things don't go the way they want. They say they believe God is in control, but they also say that someone who isn't getting anywhere must be lazy because they should have gotten somewhere by now.
American Christians especially like to think they're in control. Like God is some kind of magic genie and if we're "good" people and do "good" things, He'll bless us and make us rich. If we think positive and focus on good stuff, everything will be OK (If you read the book of Job you'll see how wrong that thinking is). If life is going poorly, you probably did something wrong. But Jesus himself points against this idea. Look at this passage from John 9:
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. - John 9:1-3
Jesus is saying that this man who was blind isn't in a bad situation because of something he or his parents did wrong, he's in this situation because through him God will be glorified.
Many people would look at our situation and say that we're in a problem of our own doing. "If only Rob had looked for a job sooner..." "If you just tried harder in a job search..." "If you just put more effort into support raising..." "If..." "If..." "If..."
When it comes down to it, we are walking by faith. We can look at all of the reasons and excuses and questions and wonder and wonder and wonder. But we don't know. I truly believe we are in our current situation, our current discomfort, our current uncertainty, so that God will be glorified in a way that we never would have thought and that's more than we can ask for.