You would think at this point I would have gotten the message, but no. Not quite yet. An opportunity presented itself where I was asked to teach a group of ladies on - you're never going to believe this - faith! So, to the Word of God I went. I found some great passages on the topic mostly in the New Testament. I was even able to put my thoughts into 3 clear points so as to not confuse this group of women. ( I didn't want a repeat of the conversation with my 7-year-old.) I felt pretty good about the information I had collected on this interesting subject - faith.
It never occurred to me that the Lord was lining all these circumstances up to prepare my heart for what would be one of the biggest tests of my faith ever in my life.
We all hear about others around us who are struggling. Their struggles all look different. They all come in different packages - relationship struggles, financial, health, job struggles. But there is one common denominator - they are all struggles. When you're looking at others' struggles from afar, it is easy to assume what you'd do if you were in their situation. It's easy to point the finger. It's easy to judge. It's easy to criticize. Some of us are even bold enough to offer our unsolicited advice to those who are struggling assuming that our advice is exactly what they need to hear and will, with no doubt, fix their problem(s).
But when it's YOU that's actually the one in the midst of the struggle, things become different entirely. Our family is in the middle of a health crisis at the moment. We have a dear sweet loved one who can't get well. We've tried everything. She's been to all types of doctors, had every possible test run on her ailing body, and still - nothing. No improvement. No better. There are some days where her pain gets so intense, it's just unbearable to witness. Nothing feels more helpless and hopeless than when your loved one hurts and suffers and there is not one thing you can do about it to make it go away. So, you do what you know to do - pray. A lot. In fact, there are moments where the prayers often involve pleading than petitioning. But it's all you know to do. So you keep on doing it. Over and over and over.
(Enter faith crisis.)
What do you do when your prayers aren't being answered? When your loved one continues to get worse day after day and the pain becomes intensified and the doctors become even more stumped over her medical condition? Then what? Then what do you do?
You return to the One who created you. You continue believing. You ask for your faith to be strengthened. After all, you need only a little (the size of a mustard seed is what the Bible says). You face that mountain head on and you command it in Jesus' name to MOVE! (Matthew 17:20-21)
Then finally, you ask God to help you keep an eternal perspective. You remember that your time on this earth is just a blip on the timeline of eternity. That our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal goal that far outweighs them all. You try each day to fix your eyes upon what is forever, what is eternal. You remind yourself that everything else is just temporary. And you hope and you pray. You don't want to give up trusting and believing. Because you know that giving up on the One who has the power to save you from death would be foolish. You beg for a miracle and try hard to not get mad when that miracle doesn't happen. You remind yourself that eternity with the One who gave it all just so you could have eternal life should be and is a miracle in and of itself. And you pray that fact, alone, would be enough. You know what else you do?
You have faith. You have faith that God will not forsake His children. You believe that one day this will all make sense. You believe that in the middle of this faith crisis it is all about Who you know rather than what you know. Because what you know is too hard to accept.And that's where I am today. It's a choice I have to make each day and sometimes I have to make that choice every minute of each day. It doesn't come easy, but it's what I believe. Thank you for letting me share my life with you. It's risky but it's worth it.
"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for he who promised is faithful." -Hebrews 10:23