Now, Faith

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)

Faith is a funny thing, not in a ‘haha’ moment, but in how it can ebb and flow within us. Each of us have gone from firmly believing in something to the reverse, questioning and wavering in our faith.

I believe that God is big enough to handle this. After all, we are human and sin factories and weak.

Tonight I have thought about healing (of course, I was watching The Chosen, episode 2 of season 3). It talks about healing. It is a powerful scene. It invokes deep feelings and tears.

I think of my younger sister, to me, she is an example of faith, courage and strength. I have admired her for my life. She nursed her husband during a long battle with ALS. At the same time, she nursed my niece, a childhood brain cancer survivor. During this time she exemplified courage. Yes, she would grow weary, but her love for her husband and children never floundered. She kept a family united with love, laughter and a bond that is felt to anyone entering her home.

I could go on and on about her. I remembered when she called to tell me that the diagnosis of cancer had been made for my niece. I hadn’t thought about it for years, but today, it has been in the forefront of my mind. It was a short conversation. She was in Maryland, and we were living in San Diego. She called to tell me two things, one, our uncle had passed away and two, they had for the first time put the descriptor cancer to my niece’s condition.

The conversation left me numb. I really did not know how to react. I had a elementary school friend visiting me at the time and she crossed the room, hugged me and took me out for the evening. We went to the movie to get my mind off of the conversation, to distract me. I remember it did not help really.

When our children are young, mothers will rush to do what we can to help our children when they are ill. We linger by their bedside at night, praying over them, gently touching them assuring ourselves that they are there. They will often stir with being touched and we quickly pray that they do not awaken fully.

Each of us, as mothers, have experienced this. Hovering over a feverish child, checking to see if the fever is rising or falling. Listening to a child with a cough, making certain it is not creeping into the little lungs. We hover. We pray. And our faith is increased.

That is how you grow to where I am now, I can look at a young mother and reassure her that things will be okay. Things will work out. We can boldly know that our Lord will be with that child, and that He can heal.

I haven’t stood over a child with a fever in years. I haven’t hovered over a child’s bedside. Those days are behind me.

Recently, my adult child received some news. It stirred this mother’s heart. The faith I so boldly write about faltered. I know that I know that I know how our God works, and yet, I questioned.

Does my questioning change anything? No. Will my prayers be put on a shelf in heaven somewhere because I faltered and questioned? No. God does not work like that. He knew in advance how I would react. He didn’t put His hand over His mouth aghast at my thoughts. (I always wanted to use aghast in a sentence, this was a first)

Our God knit us together. He formed us. He intercedes for us. He sings over us. I just needed to step back and remember this. I think that is why our Lord talked about mustard seed faith. If our faith had to be enormous, we would fail more often. But, a mustard seed. That’s a little thing.

“The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you!” Luke 17:6 (NLT)

So, after pondering and remembering and thinking about the size of my faith, I recognize that my faith is enough, because of Whom I believe in. My God can do all things. “For with God nothing [is or ever] shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37 (AMP)

Popcorn Kernel Lesson

“So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. ” Luke 17:6 (NKJV)

Friday evening Dale treated me to a date dinner. We had heard about a Japanese restaurant in the area that we hadn’t heard of before. We love Japanese food and having lived there for three years, we can be critical of taste and presentation. It is hard to find good Japanese food, and this was the case on Friday. The presentation was hopeful, but the taste just wasn’t authentic to us.

We came home after dinner to binge a show we have been watching. Before settling in I suggested popcorn. We ate our portions and watched a couple of episodes and retired for the night.

This morning I awoke to realize that I had a popcorn kernel stuck in my tooth. My flossing and brushing last night merely pushed it deeper between my gum and tooth. It was excruciating, as stuck popcorn kernels tend to be.

I tried flossing and brushing a couple more times to no avail. I knew that kernel must be at least eight inches in diameter. Finally, the brushing helped dislodge the culprit. I saw it on my toothbrush and removed it. It wasn’t even a milometer. I commented to Dale that something that little could cause so much discomfort.

Immediately, I thought of the scripture about the mustard seed, the one above and Matthew 17:20, “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” (NLT)

As I thought about the scripture I felt like the Lord said to me, faith as a mustard seed can move mountains, and sin as small as this can cause me pain.

I have kept thinking about this today. Instruction on sin early on a Saturday morning which has left me in awe of a lesson from popcorn.