Someone has described modern day Christianity as “a mile wide and a few inches deep.”
And indeed, in some sense there is a lot of shallowness to the faith of Christians who have lived most of their lives in the comfort of a culture that has let the church exist in slumbering peace. In fact, for too many Christians, their faith exists primarily on the surface, when it is on display in Sunday morning worship; but let a crisis hit or Monday morning arrive and that faith is set aside in panic or in accommodation. When the road gets tough, we start trying to wrest control of our lives back from God, lest He make things tougher. When the rest of the world comes along side, we want to go undercover lest we stand out and invite judgment and ridicule.
What do we do when we ask God, as did the apostle Paul, to take away the thorns in our flesh and he says, “No, my grace is sufficient for you.” Is our faith deep enough to chose weakness when it is the way of God’s working?
The world actually expects faith to be more surface than substance. It is comfortable with such shallowness because it can justify its own ignoring of the call of God upon its life.
Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsy were imprisoned by the Nazis for helping the Jews of Holland escape the genocide. Faith was wonderful, even thrilling when they were outwitting the Nazis. But when they fell into the hands of the Nazis, Corrie’s faith floundered in a sea of doubt and discouragement. Yet her sister Betsy continue to live with a strength that brought hope to others in the evil confines of a consecration camp.
Betsy was dying in that camp. And as she reached her final moments, Corrie despaired of what would happen when Betsy was gone. Corrie felt she herself would simply give up and die. But Betsy responded, “You must live, Corrie, you must live. And you must tell them, there is no pit so deep where God is not deeper.”
How deep is your faith?