It’s Monday. My off day. I still woke up with my husband at 4h30 and has been up since. That doesn’t change the fact that this is my off day. I didn’t have to drive to the shop. I didn’t have to get dressed early. I didn’t HAVE to do anything.
I sat in bed and alternated between crocheting a rug for our bedroom, reading “The Mind of a Fox” by Chantelle Ilbury and Clem Sunter and checking what is happening in my world on Facebook.
And in between, I chewed on the question of faith. Faith is a very debatable thing. It has always been. People get passionate about faith and will defend their view of it at all cost. But what is faith really?
In order to strengthen my faith, I have listened to every sermon on the topic I could find. I downloaded podcasts, I have read books and I listened to real life sermons as our local congregation has been focussing on faith too. What I have learned from all these teachings over a 12 month period is basically this: ASK what you want, BELIEVE that you already have it, CONFESS positive things and eventually you will receive it. It all sounds so simple.
Unfortunately, there is a but. BUT. Yes, I have seen miracles in these last 12 months. In fact, I have personally been touched my a miracle when God restored my hearing. BUT. There are many prayers still unanswered. There are many sicknesses still not healed. There are many wants on my list that I still don’t have. There are many needs on my list that I still have to do without. My best friend died of cancer despite the fact that we all prayed, believed and spoke positive things. My spiritual mentor was recently diagnosed with cancer and she is one of the people in my life with faith that can move mountains. My sister-in-law has childlike faith and the gift of healing, yet she battles with a back problem. Where does the teaching on ask, believe, receive fit into these scenarios? I don’t know. I cannot debate about it. I am not trained in theology. I don’t study the Word of God for hours each day. I am just an ordinary Christian with more questions than answers.
I recently came across this blog: Mundane Faithfulness. It is the story of a woman with cancer – Kara Tippetts. Her daily life, her strugglings, her victories and her downfalls. It is inspriring to say the least. She is holding on to God for dear life, fighting the cancer in every way she can. Yet if you read through her blog posts, you will find that she has made peace with the fact that one day, she will die, probably of cancer. It sounds contradictory I know. I am battling to understand it too. One part of me is so indoctrinated after listening to faith sermons for 12 months, that I want to shout at her not to confess these negative things. Another part of me is silently admiring her strength through all of this. What am I admiring? Her faith. Yes her faith.
To me, faith is not believing God will answer our prayers. Faith is not expecting Him to jump to our wishes and demands in puppet-like fashion. Faith is not approaching Him daily with a long list of wants and needs and firmly believing He will do exactly as prescribed. No. Faith is to hold on when nothing goes as we want it. Faith is to believe in His love and provision even when the whole world starts to fall apart. Faith is to declare Romans 8:28 and carry on through the storm regardless of the wind in our faces. Faith is to steadfastly push forward even if it is one step forward and two steps back. Faith is to believe in His everlasting love even though our lives are flashing past and death is lurking around the corner. Faith is what Kara Tippetts has. I want that faith. That faith to silently hold on and let God be God. Maybe that is what is meant in the Psalms where He says “Be still and know that I am God”. Maybe we should keep quiet. Maybe we should stop prescribing unto Him what we want and what we think we should have. Maybe we should stop demanding. Maybe we should just become quiet and hold on to Him in true faith, knowing He has good plans for us, knowing He loves us, knowing He will never leave us nor forsake us, regardless of the sickness we sit with. Regardless of the cancer. Regardless of the finances. Regardless of whatever.
Be still. Hold onto Him in faith.