How’s Your Faith?

How’s your faith doing? If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that I should never assume where someone is at spiritually or within their faith. As soon as I do, I find myself reevaluating my sense of intuition about other people’s faith placement. But, I think it’s a fair question to ask, especially when our faith can so quickly become chewed up and spit out. I can think of only two times in my life, personally, where my faith was shaken to the core. So much that it didn’t just cause introspection, but a true one on one with me and God. It was me audaciously stomping my feet at a patient God who heard my pain and didn’t just tolerate my irreverence, but I believe embraced me in my struggle. One of these occasions happened when our son was in the hospital after he was born and we thought we would lose him. I had never been so emotionally confused in my life. I was sad, angry, and bitter but I wanted to keep it all together so I could pray to a God that I thought would only hear me if I was this calm and collected, reverent altar boy. Emotions aside for the sake of a Matthew 6 prayer, right? “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…” You know the drill. It made me question whether prayer and crying out to God are almost two different things (although I don’t believe they are). I have said to many people, though, in telling this story, that after a week of our son battling and us thinking we would lose him on Saturday morning, May 3rd, 2014, my prayer became a skeleton of what it once was. It was as if a drowning victim could no longer yell for help anymore, just offer a flailing hand where their exposed head once was. In cases like this, have we lost faith? Is our faith weak when we question God in these times of struggle and desperation? I’m thankful that our son pulled through. And although there were times when I questioned if my prayers were being heard, I can also recount numerous times where people told us they were praying. Most impactful for me were hearing a couple of stories about people praying for our son on the morning we thought we would lose him. Four years later and I still can’t talk about that without getting emotional. Because I believe that those were the moments where God was building me back up after I had been broken down. It was God applying glue to broken pieces, one at a time. This was also one of the defining life moments that taught me to step back, listen, and try to understand another’s point of view. After all, what if our son hadn’t pulled through? What would my life and faith look like? It brought me back to the Israelites after crossing the Red Sea. They were so happy, singing a song of praise to God only to be saying things like, “You should have just left us as slaves in Egypt,” a few days later. It was like, “You JUST saw God do this wonderful miracle…how can you NOT trust Him??? Where’s your faith?” But, fear and circumstance have a way of breaking down our faith. They have a way of making us forget what we’ve been delivered out of. It doesn’t mean that the Israelites still weren’t stubborn. It just helps us identify a little more when we’ve been through hard times ourselves. So, how’s your faith? Is it strong? Awesome! Is it weak, trampled on, and ready to break apart any moment? Well, that’s not awesome, but you’re not (1) alone in your struggles or (2) too deep to come out of it. This isn’t some over-the-top promise that your life will instantly be all better. Far from it. Building a solid, practical faith is a process. It happens one God-given blessing at a time; one Spirit filled moment at a time, allowing the Spirit to put the pieces back together.