What Is Faith, Really?



     “… turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,…”

        Proverbs 2:2



Yesterday, a friend came to me and asked me if I’d pray for her young cousin, who is very far along in her pregnancy.  She was told at a recent appointment that  some of the baby’s organs are outside of the baby’s body, and that the prognosis for survival is grim.  In fact, she was advised to start making funeral arrangements.

She went on to say how devastated she is.  She said that her cousin has always dreamed of having a baby girl (she IS having a girl), and that “dream baby’s” name was always Evie.  Her cousin is going to name this baby Evie, and is handling all of this horrific news with courage and great grace.

Some Christians, I’m sure, are pronouncing that the baby will be fine, that all the parents need to do is believe in that healing and it will come to pass.  Now, I’m not saying not to believe in miracles, because I am living proof that they happen everyday.  In Jesus’ day, if he said, “ Go and return home.  I have healed him,” then at least you could believe He said it.  I would say that hearing God AUDIBLY say those words to you, if you’re being 100% honest, doesn’t happen too often, although I’m not ruling it out.

The thing is I’ve heard many people say that God told them this or that person was going to be healed of their sickness, and a few months or even weeks later, that person died.  And I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the kind of healing they were talking about!  God didn’t make broad promises about healing…he made specific ones to specific people.  But He DOES promise never to leave us and never to forsake us. 

I’m not trying to get into a debate about faith and healing.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that we need to be more careful and sensitive to people who are in pain and are grieving.  If you say to someone that all they need to do is have faith and their loved one will survive and recover, what do you then say to them after their loved one doesn’t recover?  Doesn’t survive? Is it now THEIR fault?  If only they would’ve believed… I have heard people say these things to people and have had them said to me on occasion.  And the result can be devastating for that person.

I’ll tell you who shows real faith. It isn’t the person, well-meaning or not, who proclaims something they feel is true to people in pain.  It is the young, pregnant mother, who in faith, is naming her daughter Evie, the name she always dreamed of for her child.  She’s doing so not because she’s sure God is going to save her, but because this IS her child, for however long God allows her to be.  Faith is evident in the peace she is demonstrating in light of the dismal path in front of her, and in the strength she is showing her family each and every day as she waits until it is time to have this baby.  Imagine it.  All the pain you’ve been warned of is creeping closer with each day, and still, she has peace.  THAT’s faith.


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