Faith isn’t faith until Jesus is all you’re holding onto.
I didn’t think I had much left.
I was past my prime.
I’m not talking about my age.
I’m speaking in Marlon Brando-esque language. I’m talking about time and opportunity.
“I coulda been a contender.”
A contender for what? you ask.
I wasn’t exactly sure.
God created us for a purpose, of course I know.
But, was I living my life the way He intended?
Sometimes, when you’ve run the course as best you can, you may end up at a place that feels dry and bare of creativity or insight.
You may feel tired.
You may feel ordinary.
Don’t be alarmed. The truth is your faith in Jesus holds extraordinary value to Him.
A Series of Letters
Before Faith Barista blog began, I reached a point in my life when I wasn’t sure what it was God wanted me to do. I’m not talking about the everyday stuff, like putting gas in your car, buying just enough bananas for the week or even doing what it takes to pay the bills.
I’m talking about the what-is-God’s-purpose-for-my-life type enigmas.
As I entered into a weekend alone with God for “whitespace“, I decided to write Jesus a series of letters. It didn’t start out that way. I signed myself up for a women’s retreat at a church I didn’t even belong to, held at a very attractive beach side location. I registered last minute for the purpose of desperately needing rest and sleep.
It turns out it wasn’t just physical rest that I needed. I was in deficit of spiritual rest.
I needed relief from —
Too many questions and not enough answers.
Feeling trapped by the pressure of inaction, yet at loss with what to do next.
Doing too much and not enough.
Nestled in the sand, writing against the sound of waves creeping up on the shore, I made my case to my captive Audience of One.
At points along the way, I dropped my pen so that my tears, and then my silence would carry the conversation.
All I Had Left
During those hidden moments of ordinary me, God spoke.
One thing was undeniable.
Faith in Jesus was all I had left.
Faith in Jesus was all that I needed.
If you feel faith is all you have left — among the plans that go off-script and dreams that grow out of reach — you have more than you may believe.
It doesn’t matter how small our faith is.
It doesn’t matter how little of it we have to give.
What matters is that we use whatever faith we have.
Use all of it —
To change what we can.
To let go of what we can’t.
To fall down.
To get back up.
To start again.
To believe God is faithful to finish the work He’s begun in you.
When you feel threatened you may not live up to all God has for you, remind yourself of this:
Our faith is worth far more to Him than what we can do or what others may see.
I am reminded of this by Jesus in Mark 12:41-44. When wealthy people were dropping rolls of hundred dollar bills into the temple’s offering box, Jesus noticed a widow who just slipped in one cent.
Jesus said that she was the one who gave the most, because she gave away all that she had.
The life we are living right now holds extraordinary value to God, when all we are holding onto is our faith in Him.
As for those letters? God was faithful to answer them that weekend. His letters are all about faith and they are still being written. Here at Faith Barista is where I share them with you.
“And without faith it is impossible to please God,
because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists
and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
~ Hebrews 11:6
How is God encouraging you in your faith?
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July is the month before Faith Barista’s birthday! To countdown, our theme this month reflects the heart of Faith Barista: keeping faith fresh.
*** NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN — FAITH BARISTA JAM! ***
Faith Barista Jam Thursdays — I serve up a topic of faith, you write the post. Let’s encourage each other. Add your voice. Swap our stories.
This Thursday’s Topic 7/7:
Here’s the topic: What God has been saying to me in my “whitespace”.
For those new to Faith Barista, “whitespace” is what I call my alone time with God. Click here to read about whitespace.
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Next Thurday’s Topic 7/14:
Here’s the topic: Pick a verse that includes the word “faith” and let it inspire you to share a post.
Approach it any way you feel inspired!
Only required ingredient: keep it real. Thanks for serving your personal brews!
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He doesn’t need all the stuff we value. What he needs is the stuff that he values – and it’s that heart of faith.
Good post, Bonnie.
Well said Glynn!
You got me with your first line:
“Faith isn’t faith until Jesus is all you’re holding onto.”
This whole post is just what I needed to hear. How did you know?
P.S. The wedding plans are coming along pretty well! My daughter continues to amaze me with how she’s getting so much together on her own. Does parental training really pay off in the long run? I guess so. ha. Now if I could just get rid of my own stress about the few wedding plans that I am in charge of…
[…] Read more about creating spiritual “white space” to meet with God at Faith Barista today: How Ordinary You Holds Extraordinary Value. […]
love this and such a good reminder. even though it’s hard to get out of that i need to be doing something mentality it’s soo good for me! =)
YOU are encouraging me in my faith! This post just about made me cry because it hits on so much of what I feel right now, even though I didn’t completely know it until I read it. Thank you for your intuitive words. Your work here is a blessing.
You’ve hit on struggles that we all have at one time or another. God really does strip away the things we depend on sometimes in order to give us all of himself. It’s like the parable of the treasure in the field, but before we can go in search of the treasure, we have to gradually give up everything else we value. And there is that moment in between letting go and receiving what God has that can be truly terrifying.
My dad has a saying that works in plumbing and in just about everything else in life: Do what you can, not what you can’t. It’s easy to compare ourselves to the gains made by others, but we can only begin where God has placed us. Beginning and trusting God to take us where he will is the hard work of faith!
This week I had let some discouraging comments bring me down and cause me to second guess my purpose until a blog comment really encouraged me. I wanted to escape, but had nowhere to escape. My reality meant being anchored where I was and so…I escaped where any good coffee lover would…to a coffee shop to drink away my sorrows in espresso and write. :o)
Discouraging comments really can send us into a tail spin. I was thinking about this the other day and thought that I really need to make sure I don’t forget that when I tempted to say something sharp to someone.
been going through a horrible situation for the past 17 months- – and Jesus was not only all I had – -but all I needed, nothing else could help me. your post today was a reminder that it isn’t about me – -it’s about Him. I love when you wrote:
Our faith is worth far more to Him than what we can do or what others may see.
because I always jump into the “what can i/should i do?” mode . . .so learning to sit and listen, to be still was really hard on me. Thank you for sharing these words! Thank you for sharing God with us today!
I’ve experienced this so many times in my life. And this past month was no exception. In fact, after we messaged on twitter, I went out a bought a new notebook and pen and began writing letters to God. He didn’t answer them so much as allow me to express all the negative feelings I was bottling up because I felt too guilty about feeling to voice in pray. The first day, I wrote 6 whole pages.
Thank you for being such an encouragement.
Quite frankly, I am an emotional mess right now. This is NOT my normal M.O, so to speak. I struggled with what to write today for the jam. I was considering the exact verse from Hebrews that you chose for your post. I instead chose Jeremiah 29:11-13. I read your post and cried. It was as if you saw straight through me. I thought, “Wow. She gets it.”
I appreciate your posts, and your encouragement. Thank you. Really. You have no idea.
You put the words in my mouth. I am encouraged.
He is pushing me out of my comfort zone and into the mission world! I have agreed, very willingly and excitedly to go on a short term mission trip to Joplin with our church. This is so far out of my comfort zone it wouldn’t have been on my radar for millions of miles! BUT I’m listening to him and his nudging and I’m going! Am I nervous–you bet but I’m not terrified like I would have been even months ago! He will be with me!
I wrote in my journal two days ago that I think I’m at a point of restlessly searching for what’s next, especially in ministry. My heart is desperate to minister, but I’m just not sure where God is leading. I’ve also looked at my life in the present and wonder how many opportunities I miss every day to minister because I’m searching for that ministry I can pour myself into. Thanks, Bonnie for the reminder that “without faith, it is impossible to please God”.
I had to re-blog this, it was amazing!
Thank you…I will be re-reading this several times throughout the day … week. It is an answer where I had none.
Thank you for this post. You’ll never know how much I needed this today. I’ve been in quite the funk this week — feeling like I’m stretched too thin, but also not getting anything of value accomplished. I’m wishing I didn’t work and that I could just stay home with my kids where I could love on them all day and have a tidy house with home cooked meals every evening. I’m wondering what my purpose in life is. I love my job, but am feeling burned out. Thank you for the wake up call! I need to be grateful for how blessed I am. I need to cling closer to what matters, to Him. I tend to try to have all the answers rather than asking Him for the answers. Can you please pray for me? I would so apprecaite it. Thanks again! : )
What an important and timely message. Use all of it. Thank you, Bonnie. Wonderful post.
How is God encouraging me? Too many ways to list, but just when I’m starting to waffle and wonder lately, He comes sceaming into my life in big ways: special phone calls, messages from friends, encouragement in unlikely places, verses seemingly written just for me.
I love this post…..and this blog! I really, really do! Been suffering from a migraine the past 2 days and couldn’t find the focus to blog what I had intended to….perhaps later today or tomorrow, I’ll find enough relief to get it written! Beautiful, encouraging and timeless post, as always!!
That’s a cycle I still go through now and then (I’m about to turn 60), wondering if my life still has value, if what I’m doing has value. And even though it is a small thing, a quiet thing, unnoticed by anyone else in the world, the answer is always Yes, You’re life – and what you are doing with it – is valuable to Me. It’s good to keep asking that question, to make sure for myself, if no one else, that I’m on the Way.
Beautifully said. I never thought when God said it was time to rest He meant rest until you are restored. Through your blog I heard Him say just that. I too am just holding on to my faith. That is more than enough when it is in Jesus. I just wrote about my alone time with Him. I think He is saying to stop trying to work, and receive. So blessed when I sit down and hear from Him through beautiful you. Thank you. God Bless. Melinda
Thank you sweet Faith for hosting this “Jam.” Your post blessed me as we realize that Jesus is all we need! He is our all in all. Yes, times may be dry or lonely or sad or happy, as we meet with our church friends, and there are times when we must feed ourselves when there is lack elsewhere. I know that God does has seasons and although I have been active in earlier years, teaching and working in churches, for now I am a receiver. My blog that I began over a year ago gives me an outlet for which I am thankful. it is so wonderful to find those like YOU, who are willing to host a jam where we can share and encourage one another. Thank you, Thank you!!
[…] am joining Bonnie at Faith Barista today as we discuss our “whitespace” — our personal space where where we meet […]
My faith has been stretched as we are still in a season of unemployment for my husband (going on two years now). God has proven time and time again that He is faithful. Sometimes I doubt, worry and fear, but He continues to provide. He is so good!
Bonnie, Thank you for saying out loud, on the internet, the things that I so often think. So glad you signed up for that retreat, that you made space to listen to Jesus, and then you shared what He revealed here. God really does make His glory known when we offer the little that we have and are.
Thank you! Your faith and obedience to Christ in this blog is how God encouraged me today. I am struggling in my job to the point of being anxious. I have let it chip away at my self-esteem and confidence in my self. I have been praying on and off for direction, but your blog encouraged me in such a positive way. I only need to have faith in Him that He is working in me. “Our faith is worth far more to Him than what we can do or what others may see.” Thanks again.
“It doesn’t matter how small our faith is.
It doesn’t matter how little of it we have to give.”
Hmmm, I’ve been blogging on ‘small things’ – which have been much on my mind – this week. Even today, when my magazine arrived and I read about some amazingly BIG things that women have done, I was reflecting on being faithful in SMALL things. Because it doesn’t matter our ‘small’ our faith is or how apparently ‘small’ our lives are, everything matters to God. We just have to be faithful to him with our little bit…which he turns into something BIG in his kingdom.
Coming to the point of knowing “Christ is all I have,” is probably the most significant low point anyone could ever reach, because it is only there the truth becomes a tested reality, that “Christ is enough.” Thank you for sharing and reminding me of my own realization of emptiness. How grateful I am to understand this because now it is easier to remember that the strength and wisdom I depend upon to bring worth to every moment cannot be, will never be and never have been my own.
Bingo! You hit the nail on the head!! Thanks for sharing!!
Yes, Bonnie, yes! ” What matters is that we use whatever faith we have.”
I need to remember this blog post when I’m feeling down in the dumps. This will help me to remember to live for him and not let Satan or the Fibro pain get the best of me…
“Doing too much and not enough.” Oh yeah, I know that.
Thanks for this post, Bonnie. I guess part of contentment is being content with the measure of faith He has given us—and knowing all the great value that is to Him.
“Our faith is worth far more to Him than what we can do or what others may see.” Faith in Him is all I need. Bonnie you continue to refresh me. In all the new with returning to school, taking on photography all of a sudden the insecurities creep in, but I run to Him and gives me these words, yours…and I’m ready to run again. Thanks for that shot of faith.
Love you my friend.
p.s. I blogged and completely forgot to link…lol.
[…] one weekend away spent in whitespace, I decided to share my list of […]
Thank you for this. Too often, I also feel that I am not doing enough, that I have no purpose etc etc etc. Yet it is my faith that matters and I know that just living my life in obedience and faith is what is important. I need this reminder.
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[…] As I breathed in the beauty, I remembered how I once believed I was lost in the night of my soul. […]
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