by Andrew Cromwell
In the 4th century, there was a Christian Bishop known as Basil of Caesarea who was described as a man who had “ambidextrous faith.”
Someone who is ambidextrous can use both hands equally well rather than preferring one over the other. While some people tend to use only their right (or left) hand to write, shoot a basketball, swing a bat, or pick their nose (try doing it with your other hand for a change just to see if you can), an ambidextrous person uses both hands equally.
Basil of Caesarea was said to have ambidextrous faith because he held the blessings of God in one hand and the struggles and pains of life in the other. He did not prefer one over the other but believed that both were equally required for him to fully experience the goodness of God.
Like preferring to use our right hand vs our left (or vice versa), most of us prefer to focus either on the blessings of God OR on the struggles of life but not both equally. Some of us like to live on the mountaintop and feel all the warm and fuzzies and talk about all the great things God is doing in our lives and we act as if the struggles of life are all from the Satan himself. Others enjoy living in the struggle—talking about how difficult life is, how much pain exists in the world, and how we are just barely making it because of God’s grace.
Rare is the person who can both celebrate God’s goodness and “rejoice in the Lord always” and at the same time acknowledge the brokenness of life and enter into the “fellowship of His suffering”. But this is the kind of faith we should have!
Real faith acknowledges that God is always good and that “His mercies are new every morning” even while it lives in the brokenness that says “when I am weak, then I am strong.” Real faith doesn’t act like everything is ok when it isn’t. And it also doesn’t get mad at God because things aren’t going great.
Real faith, ambidextrous faith, holds both hands up and says, “Today I celebrate another opportunity for God to display His greatness in the midst of my brokenness.”
Ambidextrous faith sees the problems of life as an opportunity for God to show up, rather than as a reason to blame God for letting things happen.
Do you have ambidextrous faith or do you tend to operate with only one hand? Maybe it’s time to get both hands into the air! Maybe your situation is not all roses, but you’d better believe it’s not all thorns either. God wants to work in your life in EVERY circumstance, but we have to remember to cooperate with Him.