Saturday, May 2, 2009

How Do You Keep Your Faith?

Mom. Mother. Mama. Mommy. Best Friend. Mentor. Sister. Pastor. Counselor. These are just titles. Each of the titles cannot describe the extent of the love mom and I shared. That is the problem with trying to describe in words the feelings of the heart. Today I am going to try to describe my faith. Again, mere words cannot possibly express the feeling in my heart.

So many times in recent weeks people have asked me the same question in different ways. "How do you keep your faith?" My answer is quite simple. My faith is not a choice; it is who I am. It is like asking, "How do you remember to breathe?"

Am I frustrated that mom had to get leukemia after enduring all of the hardships in her life? Yes, but I am grateful she was my mother. Am I frustrated that innocent children suffer from awful illnesses? Yes, but I am grateful for the gift of life. Am I absolutely baffled by miracles that occur sometimes but not always to powerful prayer warriors? Yes, but I am grateful for a God that has a listening ear.

You see, to me, the lack of a healing response by God for an innocent child, great person, or dear loved one seems harsh, unloving and cold in the veiw of this life. But in the view of heaven, it is the only response that makes sense from a loving God. I wonder how the angels feel when God actually takes action to use his healing power and leave his loved one on the earth even though they have been stricken by an illness or fateful event? The angels are there in glory ready to welcome their loved one home, and suddenly they must watch this person endure greater hardships for longer. Can you imagine their response?

Logically I can see this, but my heart still aches and wonders 'why not one more miracle to keep her here a little while longer?' Even in this hurt, even when I think about terrible injustices, I do not question whether God is good. I only question the plan. I only question the basis by which He decides when and where to use his healing touch. The lack of constant miracles everytime a devoted prayer warrior prays does not keep me from believing in the power of prayer. In fact, if there would never be a miraculous event then I would feel desperate in this world because hope would be non-existent. I cannot imagine that type of world.

Yet, I understand how people get to a place where they believe God does not listen. I do not judge that, nor do I know how to help. When thousands pray for the life of an innocent child or unbearable events occur, it is only normal to question the Giver of Life as to why? However, I believe strongly that life and God are not the same. God is great, loving and everlasting. Life is hard, testing and temporary.

So as to the question, "How do I keep my faith?" Again, without my soul, who am I? I am nothing without it. I watched my mom leave this earth. I sat with her in her last days, and if there is anything I am sure of it is the fact that our soul is what makes us who we are. As soon as her soul left, her shell, her body looked nothing like my mom, best friend and mentor. It is not life that is real, it is our spirit.

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