I called my grandmother on Mother’s Day and enjoyed a wonderful conversation with her. She has such a bright spirit and an incredible zeal for God. I love listening to her many stories about us growing up, but my favorite stories are those of my mother. You see, my mother passed away from brain cancer at the age of 29 leaving 3 young children and a young husband behind. I am the oldest child of my siblings and was only 8 at the time of her passing. My mother was a devout Christian woman. She spent her life serving others. In a family that had many unsettling moments, she was a rock for her siblings and others to hold on to. My grandmother relays amazing stories of some of the conversations that they used to have to, and as I close my eyes it is as if I can hear her voice within my grandmother’s. My grandmother is an example of great faith. To lose a daughter, who in all accounts was living a life very honorable to her and to God, and not once allow herself to get angry with God or to question his purpose has created a legacy I long to follow. Unfortunately, there were many in my family including myself whose faith was not so strong.
You see we allowed one moment in our life, a big moment, but still a moment to completely knock us from our “foundation” of faith. I spent so many nights asking God how He could let this happen. I saw many of my mother’s friends and family fall away. They just could not “believe” in a God who would let such a great disciple of His, wife, and mother suffer and die like that. I was so confused and did not know what I believed any more, and it remained so for about 5 more years.
When I was 16 years old my father gave me a letter written by my mother shortly before her death. She had written three of them, one for each of my two siblings and one for me to be read when we were old enough to fully comprehend the weight of her words. There was so much goodness in each line of her letter to me; I read it over and over through shades of tears. Advice on women, life, being a father, and living for Christ all encompassed within an envelope, but there is one line that changed my life for God. My mother’s letter reads, “Baby I know you do not understand why this is happening, and honestly I am not quite sure either, but when faith seems hard to find know this, God is God and because of that we have to trust Him.” These are words that have rung so loudly within my heart and soul.
You see here lies the problem with much of our faith. We often have a hidden agenda in our relationship with the Lord. We say “if God is God then I won’t get a lingering illness, I won’t bury any of my children and I will not suffer any tragedy.” When things do not go according to the agenda of our faith, our faith is rocked and we find ourselves asking the question “God, how could you?” Can you imagine the book of Job had his faith been based upon an agenda? I am sure the book would have read very differently.
So what is real faith? Like my mother showed above, Habakkuk shows us a very real declaration of true faith.
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fail, and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. – Habakkuk 3:17-18
This is Habakkuk singing his faith to God, Why was he doing so? It is because God’s glory had been revealed through Habakkuk’s struggles. We must understand that true faith is produced from testing. When it comes to Spiritual warfare, the greatest warriors are not adorned in shining armor; rather, they are dressed in tested armor.
I completely understand it is hard to find faith when it seems like your world has been taken from you, and life seems more dark and uncertain than it ever has, but please remember that our faith should not be based on our circumstances. Our faith, true faith should be based upon the faithfulness of God, and His faithfulness was most incredibly displayed on the cross of Calvary.