On Confidence

Once upon a time, I understood intuitively what it meant to approach the throne of grace with confidence.

As a fourth grader, when I heard that my teacher’s baby needed a miracle, I prayed for a miracle.  Without qualms, I begged Jesus to spare this little boy’s life.  Again and again, I pleaded for the doctors to be wrong and for supernatural healing to make his little heart, lungs and brain viable.  I prayed honestly, unapologetically.

Twenty years of life (and church) later, when I heard that my friend’s baby needed a miracle, I prayed again.  My first inclination was to give God all kinds of excuses and caveats, to give him a way to save face if things didn’t work out the way I thought best.  But this didn’t feel right, so I sat in silence for a while.

It took some time for honest words to come.  It was hard to speak aloud the deep desire of my heart for another miracle, for the sparing of this little boy’s life too.  I prayed honestly that night, but it was slow and halting and so, so hard.

I love that the word translated confidence in Hebrews 4:16 also means honesty.

You see, because of the incarnation, because of Jesus, we can come to God honestly.

Not to fulfill our every wish.

Not to name and claim.

To receive mercy, his compassionate action.

To find grace.

Confidence isn’t false hope.  It isn’t denial.  Or raised voices and pounding fists.

Confidence is honesty.  Asking for what we need.

Confidence is knowing the One who both feels with us and has the power to act on our behalf.

Confidence is seeing our need, speaking the truth and finding grace.

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