“Our walk with God, our love for God, our faith in God, is measured by our first response to something abnormal in our lives.”
These were the words that swirled around in my brain for days after attending my old church on Sunday. Pastor C spoke a message that I felt was clearly for me. Faith and joy have been the theme of the year it seems and I have been wondering where my faith is. How is it even possible to measure?
But as I was meditating on it these last few weeks, I was hit with this whammy. How do I respond when hit with crisis? How is my attitude when the abnormal is upon me? Do I panic? Do I collapse? Or do I go to Him? I’ve responded a number of ways throughout the years, but I hope that more often than not, I respond with faith and trust.
This past week we had quite the scare. Molly really had a turn for the worse. All right side strength was pretty much gone, she struggled with swallowing at one point, headaches came in strong waves and the vomiting was eventually uncontrollable, even with Zofran. We were in full on crisis mode and to say that this was an abnormal situation was the understatement of the century. We were certain that the day before Thanksgiving, she would be admitted into the hospital, and honestly, would not come out ever again. We have seen so many children take a turn for the worse so quickly and never recover.
The words above rolled around in my heart.
“What will your response be, Julie? Is your faith real? Will you run to the phone to call a friend? Will you panic and begin to cry? Or will you call upon His name? You know, the one that you have been learning, loving, and listening for.”
I paused. Phone in hand, I had a choice. I felt this peace in my heart. One that whispered that all this year was a preparation for this very moment. My early mornings of prayer and reading led up to now.
I prayed. I listened. I stayed calm. And let me tell you, it was not because I am some mega Christian. I am so far from it. I still gossip. I still lie. I still grumble. I still pout. It was truly because God grants so much grace to His own. It’s within reach, but He wants us to grab it.
“By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of glory of God.” -Romans 5:2
It humbles me and excites me all at once that God gives us access to His grace 24/7. All we need is to take it. And yet so many times I forget that and panic in the dark.
I’ve learned over the years that faith is 3 things:
1. It is clearly understanding the Truth… knowing that even if we can’t see it, touch it, or even feel it within, if it says it in His Word, it’s true and therefore we must trust it.
So if God says that all things are going to work together for good, even though I see a suffering child, a hopeless diagnosis, I trust that it will be good.
2. It is taking that truth and applying it to my life. It’s making it personal.
“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” – James 2:17
3.It is simply action. Doing it. Standing in the waiting room, waiting to hear the news that will change your life, and having peace.
Let me make something perfectly clear. I am not perfect at this at all. And I hope that I never come off bragging, preachy, or something else other than just sharing what God laid on my heart in hopes that it will encourage or help someone else. There were plenty of times I have lost it and phoned a friend, panicked, or lost all hope within. But I have learned some along the way, only because He was willing to teach me.
So tonight, my prayer is that God will continue to grow my faith and truly help me to put it into action. Because what good is life if you are not continually learning and changing.
Written November 28, 2014