Monday, January 13, 2014

A 'No Matter What' Kind of Faith

Finish this sentence. I will continue to have faith as long as________. I've been there with you. We keep our faith in this neatly drawn out box in which we remain in the safety zone. I noticed this a few years back when I had gone in for my mammogram. I received a letter telling me to make another appointment. I called immediately. I mean, that is no way for a woman to find out that she needs another mammogram. Something was seen, but it was unknown. For every woman out there whether you have received this news or have not, this sends you in shock mode with a fear that is almost explainable. 

I went in for my second mammogram with fear. As I sat waiting there was a woman seated next to me who was going through chemotherapy. A beautiful woman with a brightly covered scarf wrapped delicately over her head. My first thought was, Lord, please no. Not me. Please don't allow this to happen. I watched this beautiful woman and I noticed she sat with such strength. It was as though it flowed through her. Here I sat in my weakness and fear. 

I began to pray, "Lord, I will continue to love You and walk with You no matter what. No matter what is to come, I pray my faith does not waiver, but grows in strength and grace." No matter what. Yes, I wanted that kind of faith. I wanted a faith that took me beyond my safe little box. God is either God and in total control or He isn't. How arrogant of me to pray a prayer that I obviously thought I knew what was best for me more than my Lord and Savior. 

My name was called. After my mammogram I was told to be seated and wait for my results. Fear assaulted me again. I was going to find out my results now while I sat all alone? The brave and courageous woman who had sat next to me was now gone. I continued to pray. But this time I prayed something different. I asked God to give me strength for whatever come and I asked Him to be with me. 

The nurse came in and had my results. She said, "Let's go to my office". Here it was. Why couldn't she just tell me right here. My legs didn't want to move, but something happened. I stood as if someone pulled me up. I could feel a strength that I had not known. I felt my Lord with me. I could feel Him whisper, "I am with you, My daughter. Have faith." 

I began to cry before we ever entered the room. I stopped the nurse and told her, "Please, just share with me here." She stopped and said, "Please, why are you crying? I haven't told you anything yet." I replied, "But my Jesus has." This nurse had tears in her eyes and she told me I was just fine. It was only a shadow. There was nothing for me to fear. I immediately spoke out and said, "Praise Jesus. Thank You for taking me outside my box." The nurse gave me a hug and I left there with a new faith. I was ready to hear the results that would set me on a new course. No matter what is what I told my Savior. For me to praise God for all the good in my life I too must be willing and ready to praise Him for all that touches my life.

My prayers for my children and family have gone something like this. "Lord, please keep them safe. Keep them healthy. Keep all harm, danger, evil, and trouble far from them. Surround them with love, friendship, laughter, and kindness. Lord, bring them to know You more closely. They once walked with You so closely, bring them back and even more so, bring them to have a new relationship with You." That is just a little of the prayers I would say for my children and family. But after my moment in that waiting room things changed. This is not heaven. It isn't meant to be a perfect world. If all is perfect around us would we turn to Jesus? Would we still walk with Him? Change is evident. It is daily. Moment by moment. 

I began praying, "Lord, as today gives new, be with my children at every corner. Give them strength for what is to come. Give them grace in each movement. Through all that touches them today may they shine for You. May they turn to You, Lord, for everything good and wrong. Give them a positive attitude. May they see each obstacle as an opportunity to overcome. Use them for Your glory Lord. Help them to see the true meaning of success in this world. Give them a heart of compassion and one full of forgiveness." 

Comfort is fine. It is safe. But unless we move outside of that comfort zone can this world truly see the Lord moving in us? Fear isn't a sin. God asks us to bring Him our fears. In doing so He replaces those fears with strength and courage. For us to RAWR in this life we must face obstacles that shake us. In facing trials we are not always surrounded by loved ones and friends who support us. Not everyone has a church family that embraces them in love. We must learn to turn to our Savior for every need and trust Him in the circumstances He allows to touch our lives. He will forever remain in control. It is when we surrender and let go that we truly see His glory move in our lives and in the world around us. 

"Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen." Hebrews 11:1 

"And also through Him, we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope does not disappoint because God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Romans 5:2-5


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