Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Faith...a five letter word...seemingly insignificant, and yet, in reality, it is one of the biggest and most difficult words ever uttered. Why? I guess because in order to have faith, we have to trust in something or SomeONE greater than ourselves. We have to let go of our preconceived ideas of what WE think is best for our lives and be willing to allow God to direct our paths...even when we can't see where the road is leading us.
A few years back there was a slogan going around in the religious realm that said, "Let go, and Let GOD!" and that little saying has come back to "haunt" or "taunt" me many times throughout my life. For those of you who know me personally, you know that I tend to be a person who likes to be "in control". Some would say, "controlling", others have accused me of being "bossy"...(some of you may be reading this right now...no need to write any comments at the bottom! LOL) I tend to be the one who gets everyone up and moving when there is a lull in the conversation or party, or committee meeting, or whatever...goes back to my high school cheerleading days at good old THS! Perhaps because of my "natural tendencies" to be a leader and boss, God has had to go to extreme measures at times to teach me humility. There have been times when my boldness has led to embarrassing moments when I wished I could have crawled under the carpet and slithered out the back door and never returned to face those who had witnessed my shame.
So what has this got to do with "faith"? Throughout the years God has been teaching me about faith...oftentimes through decisions and choices that placed us into difficult circumstances, either because we made a bold move without first counting the cost , or because we truly believed it was what God was telling us to do and we were answering the call. Either way, whether it was by our own foolishness (or the appearance of such to the rest of the world), or because we were obeying the "call", I can honestly say that God has NEVER let us down. Oh, yes, we've squirmed a bit and worried and fretted and doubted God's purpose, and second guessed if we had heard God right or not...but at the end of the day, I can honestly say, God NEVER LET US DOWN. When we made the decision to let go of our own will, our own "security", our own dreams and schemes and fully trust God, He did NOT let go of us. He grasped onto us all the tighter and held us closely to His breast, and carried us through the storms of life that raged about us.
Right now our family is going through another storm, the serious illness of our middle son, Matt. Matthew is a child of God, and a precious son, husband, brother, and father. If I could pass on any gift to him right now, it would be the gift of faith. Actually, I believe God has already filled him with this gift, and he has had to use it many times in his own life. But probably never as much as now. He is going through some deep water, but with the eyes of faith he can see the light at the end of this tunnel...and that helps steer him forward to the reward of renewed strength and health. He may need some extra encouragement throughout these next months to keep reaching toward that light...and that's where we come in...you and me and everyone else out there...Your prayers, your words of encouragement and hope bring renewed faith and courage. Don't ever doubt the value of your offerings. Whether by prayer, email, facebook, cards, phone calls, whatever way the Lord leads, it brings hope and healing...not just for Matt, but for the many others out there in need of such help...and there are many. Perhaps even you need that hope and faith from time to time....