"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering for He is faithful that promised" - Hebrews 10:23.
Faith: the number one requirement in the manual to being a Christian. Without faith it is impossible to please God, its importance cannot be overstated. Keeping the faith? Now thats entirely different, how easy is it to be faith-filled in the midst of lack, in death, in confusion, in sickness? Not very easy, but that doesn't diminish its importance. God is merciful but our lapses are not justified by the trials we go through. My faith levels waver more dangerously than the weight of a yo-yo dieter but because i know what my faith means to me I get back up each time. I marvel when I talk to atheists because I don't understand how they can go through life without being moored to something thats bigger than themselves, I know I couldn't. My faith keeps me sane, it keeps me grounded because in the midst of it all it reminds me that no matter what happens around me I have a goal, a place I must reach and because I know the devil will try to steal my faith with the trials of this life, I will guard it jealously and encourage you to do the same. One reader shares the difficult journey that brought him to a place of renewed faith in God.
I've never really thought of myself as ‘normal’. My mum reminds me of a time I was about 3 years old and terribly ill. I was unable to keep anything down, she put her hands on my head and prayed and the moment she was done I sprang up from bed and began running all over the house screaming 'I'm well, I'm well'. Miraculously I was healed and didn't need any medicines after that. What baffles me now is how I could have so much faith as a child, faith that eludes me sometimes now, and how I can remember that day so vividly.
My life has been ‘drama-filled’, even before I was aware of it, in the throes of labour, my mother drove herself to the hospital. Between then and now a lot has happened, some of them were ALL my fault and others I didn’t think I'd ever understand why they happened to me. I had thought on several occasions that I was cursed or that God just didn't give a rats tail about people like me. I had some good reasons to feel this way, I had four close friends and today three of them are dead, not the kind of deaths I'd wish on anyone either. I held one of them in my hands as he bled to death after being shot at 18, another drowned to death while he was trying to escape a police raid and the third died in a car accident...guess who was driving? Why I survived that accident PHYSICALLY unscathed is yet another mystery to me, I say physically because many years later the invisible scars remain and they haunt me.
I believed that I survived because I was chosen for extraordinary things, but by the time I was 23 I saw life differently, it was inevitable with the mental scars I carried and the dysfunctional group that I call family. Let's just say I was and still am a pretty different thinking human and not necessarily in a good way either. I know that some people reading this would probably say I couldn’t walk a mile in their shoes, at which point I’d smugly point out that I’m the one telling the story. If you think that way, in a way you wouldn’t be wrong because I’m not just telling my story, at some point we’ve all been where I’ve been, the only difference is that we all haven’t ended up at the same place. I've had super trials in my life, but if that's the case how come we don't all come out of these trials for the better? I HONESTLY think that its because of the very first thing I talked about in the beginning, FAITH. Now I'm not saying I've always kept the faith that I had as a child. What I’m saying is that things didn't really change for me until I got that faith back (even now I haven't totally but I'm well on my way).
At some point in my life I literally felt within me a constant battle for my soul, I could actually feel the war within me, sometimes I’d look in the mirror and could have sworn I saw someone else staring back at me for a split second, like someone was reminding me that he was there. I had dreams that kept me awake, at a point I was afraid to dream because some of my dreams actually came to pass. These issues came up again recently during my service year, I was posted to a bleak Northern state, it was hard to get used to the weather, I saw another level of poverty. To top it all my career seemed to be going nowhere, my 7 year relationship came to an end and on top of that colossal family issues. In one year I was stripped of EVERYTHING I thought was anything. In all of this a friend of mine asked me a profound question. He said “Don't you think someone's trying to say something to you?”
Thinking back, service year in that state was the best thing that could have happened to me. Hosea 6:1-2 says 'Come let us return to Yahweh, He who shattered us to pieces, will heal us as well; He has struck us down, but he will bind up our wounds'. The point is I had to go through everything I went through to be able to write this. I had to lose my friends in that manner to be able to appreciate the ones I have now, I had to be stupid broke to be able thankful for what I have now. I had to go through what I'm going through with my family so that I can avoid making the same mistakes when I get married and have kids. Most of all, I had to lose the faith of that 3 year old to be able to let go and genuinely leave everything in Gods hands now. I honestly believe God does not take it easy on people that he has some extra-ordinary love for therefore He will not let any little cock-up of yours slide because he knows your heart and sees who he wants you to be. Have you asked yourself in all honesty whether you're supposed to be alive today? I could have died at least four times over by now. In the words of my friend, maybe someone is trying to tell you something??? I think the things I've been through and those I'm going through, God used to bring me back to Him. I think of Jesus who learned through suffering what obedience meant (Hebrews 5: 7-10). I'm not a preacher, just someone who feels his story could someway, somehow have an impact on someone else's. What I’m trying to say in so many words is that if you look through your tears, you’d realize that there's an extraordinary love for you, that all your tribulations are channeled towards your growth it all depends on whether or not you believe...
*If you'd like to share your story or an experience please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
God bless you!