It is said that Gregory of Nicea often praised his friend St. Basil for having “Ambidextrous Faith.” You may ask, “what is ambidextrous faith”? In Gregory’s mind, ambidextrous or two-handed faith was the ability to trust God no matter what was taking place in one’s life. Gregory further commented that St. Basil accepted the trials of life with the same faith with which he accepted the pleasures of life. Both, he believed, came from God. Wow! Now that is the kind of faith that I desire.
As many have documented, it is much easier for us to trust when the path is clear, when the provisions are sure and when the problems are few. But, how necessary is faith when the outcome is certain? Anyone can believe, anyone can trust in the face of certitude. It is during the moments of uncertainty and doubt that faith truly becomes necessary.
I would remind you that Hebrews 11:1 states that faith “gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” As Philip Yancey says, “the invisibility of God guarantees that I will experience doubt.” Quite honestly, I struggle with that statement, because I always want to believe. I never want to experience doubt. Yet, I must confess that there are moments, hours and sometimes even days when my faith is not as strong. As I mentioned in my last blog, it is the skeleton in my closet.
It is precisely in those moments of weakness, when I cannot see and when I do not understand, that I must blindly trust. As Paul says in II Corinthians 5:7 “We walk by faith and not by sight.” What we need is not just a one-handed faith. But we desperately need to be ambidextrous! We need to trust God with life’s pleasures and we need to trust God during life’s problems. We need to trust God when there is plenty and when there is little, when I am healthy and when I am sick, when I understand what God is doing as well as when I do not understand. Regardless of what is taking place in my life, my faith is strong.
Lord, please give me anbidextrous faith!