DSCF0776Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1.

Personally, all I can say about faith is not going to convince anyone to have faith. When you have faith in someone, you trust them. They are as good as their word. You trust that person because they have proven themselves to be trustworthy. Having faith in God is just like that. Only difference….you have to believe in God’s existence first off, then you have to believe He is trustworthy. I trust God because He has proven Himself to be trustworthy in my life. No, not everything has gone the way I’ve wanted or the way I’ve thought it should. And I can’t say these things haven’t shaken my faith or made me ask questions. But that’s okay. God is a big God and He can take our questions. He can take it when we are angry or confused over our circumstances. Is God good, even when things go really sour? Faith in God is tested at these trying times. Does one draw closer to God in the midst of the trial or does one’s anger and confusion drive them from the Source of peace and comfort? There remains the age old question, “why do bad things happen to good people?”. Okay, if you are expecting me to come up with a spiritual bandage, talking about the goodness of God and the purpose He has in the suffering. well, you’d be partly right. Yes, God has proven to be trustworthy in my life, as I said before. And yet, I do have lingering questions about why bad things happen. Bad things happen to everyone, right? Whether a person is good or bad,  something bad is likely to happen to them in their lifetime. A common response to the “Why Me?” question is “Why NOT Me?” Things just happen. Accidents happen. Evil happens. Illness happens. Things happen that we have absolutely no control over. Why doesn’t God intervene and stop these things? I could go into the theological discussion that because Adam and Eve sinned, they set us up to live in a fallen world forever. Had they only listened to the voice of God we would live forever in paradise! What were they thinking??  Just as they made bad choices, we make bad choices. Sometimes we suffer at the hand of another’s bad choices. Sometimes we suffer and there is no one to blame. Many questions call for answers. But answers, no matter how credible, can really cause one to feel good when that bad thing has happened. What is needed is caring, comfort, love and support. Action, not answers.

When Carly Grace was born 31+ years ago, the doctor’s didn’t give her more than three days to live. Why did God intervene then? Why did He bless us with 30 years with Carly? Did we deserve it any more than another parent who loses their newborn? Of course not. Are we thankful? Of course we are. Would losing her 30 years ago have tested my faith? Of course it would have. ( I have been sharing Corbin Alfred McHenry’s story , Prayers for Corbin on facebook, whose little life hangs in the balance as I write this. Read his story to see how his mom has found faith). My hope is that I would have kept the faith and used my experience to help other people deal with their loss. It didn’t happen then. It happened a year ago. And now, I hope to use my experience, my loss, my pain, to help others through their loss. The scenario may differ in time and place and cause, but with God’s help I can take what has been painful and sad, and help other people with their grief, and with God’s direction help lead them into His place of comfort and peace instead of a place of dark bitterness and hopelessness. Have you seen for yourself someone who has chosen the latter? I don’t think any kind of good can arise from that. Have you seen for yourself someone who chooses, instead, to look to God for peace and comfort in the midst of their darkest time?I These “pillars of faith” are the people whose lives have spoken the loudest to me. I see a hope, I see peace. I see a light in their eyes and in their spirit. Of course the scars of pain and sadness might remain, but their continued faith in God has built my own faith in Him. My own mom was the biggest picture of faith to me. No matter what came her way, she always pointed the way to God and His love and mercy. And yet, at age 70, she suffered a debilitating stroke following heart surgery that left her without speech and hemiplegic. I thought, how could this happen to a woman of such great faith? She should have recovered and been in better shape than before her surgery! And yet, over the next 6 years before God took her home, she remained a light of faith to me. The light remained in her face, in her eyes and in her spirit. She taught me volumes in her silence that I could not have learned anywhere else. Her example to me showed me that, in God’s strength, we can be conquerers even in the worst of times. Though she never regained what she had lost, she never lost her faith. Of that I am more than positive.  Though pain and loss may paralyze us for a moment, it can’t keep us there. Where there is faith, there is hope, where there is hope, there is light, where there is light, there is no darkness. Choose faith. Choose light.