Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Faith Not Feelings

July 24. That is a date that I will never forget. That is the date when our dear friends unexpectedly lost their 15 month old daughter. She was my daughter's best friend. Dreams were shattered that day. My faith was rocked. Life looks different now and is lived differently. This is the case for all who loved this precious little girl and her family. She left an imprint on all of our lives. Thankfully, for those who love Jesus, that imprint points us to our Savior.

But, what does faith look like now? How do you deal with the pain of this tremdous loss? How do you fight against fear...fear of death, fear of pain, fear of losing those you love? Fear of having to realize that life is hard and will be hard until we enter into etenity and and are able to see our Great God and Savior and know that all has been made right. What do you do when you know so much in your head, but it does not seem to affect your heart. What do you do when you feel your own pain and know that it does not even begin to touch the pain of two friends that you love tremdously. What does faith look like now?

Well, in so many ways, I still have no idea. I think sometimes you don't know from day to day because every day is different and can bring different feelings, different thoughts, and different emotions. There is not this prescription to make everything all better. And, in so many ways, it will never really be "all better" because "all better" will not happen in this life. But, there is one thing that has been resonating with me lately, and that is this: Faith is not built on feelings, and truth doesn't change just because I don't feel like it is true. The fact that God had wonderfully ordained each day of this sweet little one's life to accomplish His purposes is still true. The fact that these purposes are good and right and best is still true. The fact that God's glory should be what we long for most is still true...the prophet Isaiah tells us that God's glory and renoun should be the desire of our hearts. This doesn't change just because I don't understand His ways or wish that He had chosen a different way...a way that would have kept this little girl with us in this life. The fact that Jesus is enough for us, that He was a man of suffereing and intimately knows our pain, that He is sitting on the right hand of the Father interceeding for us, that He is trustworthy and is working all things for our good because He loves us----all these things don't change because I don't FEEL they are true. We serve a POWERFUL GOD. And whether I believe it and feel it or not---His ways are BEST.

So, what do I do now? I cling to truth and preach it to my heart. I chose to do things that are hard even when I don't feel like it. I pray the Word for myself and for my friends. I choose to see God working in all of this. I choose to believe that He IS working this for the good of my friends that I love dearly. I have to choose to cling to truth because my feelings and my thoughts will tell me differently, and I know that the enemy is seeking to come in and steal, kill, and destroy. I HAVE to fight to believe the truth because if I don't everything I love and hold dear is at stake. Jesus is it for me....He is what makes my marriage sweet, my realtionships with friends and family warm and encouraging, being a mother a joy and delight. He is the center of it all. I MUST fight by the power of the Holy Spirit to believe what God's Word says is true. It is what slays my disbelief, calms my fears, gives me sustaining strength on my most wearying days, and gives me the grace to do and believe what is RIGHT not what is EASY. Jesus and His word is EVERYTHING to me.

There have been several quotes that I have read recently that have really encouraged me in this line of thinking. I want to end this post with a few of them. I hope they encourage any who may read this as well.
"Help me to honour thee by believeing before I feel, for great is the sin if I make feeling a cause of faith. The Valley of Vision p. 9

"The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
Job 1:21

"May this be your experience; may you feel that the Hand which inflicts the wound supplies the balm, and that He who has emptied your heart has filled the void with himself."
Hudson Taylor

Everyting, including our pain, is His. I am thankful He will meet me in it.
Mary Beth Chapman, Choosing to See

The quickest way for anyone to reach the sun and the light of day is not to run west, chasing after the setting sun, but to head east, plunging into the darkness until one comes to the sunrise."
Jerry Sittser

After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you."
1 Peter 5:10

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