I used to think my faith would protect me from pain and trials.  I thought this was what the Bible was saying.  Now I see faith as the greater hope beyond the pain, and a transcendent peace in the midst of the trials.   And suddenly it’s right there in the Bible, in the lives of all who followed Him – the suffering, the pain; but the greater hope: ‘In this world you will have trouble, but take heart!  I have overcome the world.’

I used to think faith meant God would provide whatever I trust Him for.  I have known such direct provision, yet often faith has meant sticking with Him over the long haul, through the disappointments and failures, trusting that these are the very things that will shape me and my life in the way He knows best.

I used to think faith only went one way.  But now I marvel to discover that He has faith in me too, that I am His co-worker in the mission of my life, and that if I cower away in fear or false humility due to a lack of faith in myself, I might not fulfil the potential He calls me to, with only myself to blame.

I used to think the walk of faith was a safe path, but now I know it is a risk with high stakes and the possibility of failure.  And I thank God that he never designed us for boredom.

I used to think failure was something to be feared, and incompatible with faith.   But now I know it is a familiar obstacle on the route to success but His grace is my ticket to re-enter the race.

I used to think faith meant a fixed path for me to walk, a predefined route that I secretly feared missing.  But now I know my God is living, active and creative and so am I, and we are laying the path together.

There is much to learn in life and I want my learning to create in me the expertise of a jazz musician, using the resources gained through discipline to create the freedom and beauty of a continuously improvised life – rather than the learning of a single song, safe and predictable, read from a sheet, and slowly dying the more it is repeated.