i still believe

I am enjoying taking a few days off from ministry work and focusing on my family. The past two days, we have done basically nothing...and that is a big deal for me. For the past year, it seems that either church work or doctor visits was the norm just about every day. Now don’t get me wrong, I love where God has placed me to serve and enjoy what I do. However, there have been times that the demands of ministry and the constant knowledge of what was to come, namely Ivi Grace’s surgery, in addition to the daily therapy and weekly doctor visits, really wore on my heart and soul. Sure, I sometimes have given the typical pastor answer and have said that I know that God has a plan for everything, which I really do believe, and have gone on about my way. But the authentic answer to people’s enquiries about how Christi or I were doing would really depend on the day. Some days, we felt like everything was great and the light was bright. Others, not so much. The best way to explain it is a roller-coaster. As you know, a roller-coaster can quickly go from a very high spot to a very low spot, and then back up again. That is what this year has been like for us. Thankfully, as our pastor spoke about this past Sunday, our faith is not based upon how we feel. Sure, emotion is involved, but it is not the basis. The fact that Christ died and rose again is the foundation of my faith, not my fledgling feelings and emotions.

Hence part of the meaning behind “I Believe”. It’s not a lovey-dovey praise song about how I feel so close to God all the time. In fact, it’s quite the opposite at some points in the song. Most of the lines I wrote very quickly without much time spent dwelling on them. They just popped out of my head and heart. Lines and questions like, “Where is this Savior? Where is this Healer? Where is this God I have never seen?” Sure, I’ve seen His creation and have even marveled at His handy work as I’ve studied every detail of my daughter and the miracle of her life. But in reality, unlike Moses, I have never seen Him. I am completely without physical proof that He exists, aside from His creation. Yet, I believe He does. For me, I don’t have to see Him with my eyes for I’ve already seen Him with my heart, and I believe that is His plan. You see, if I had somehow teleported to heaven and saw God in person and had gotten to hang out with Him for a day like old school buddies, then popped back to earth, this whole belief thing would be quite easy. However, that is not the case. The facts are that I am basing what I believe upon faith, and faith alone. Thus, instead of a belief that is empirical, I have a belief that is just the opposite. Some would call me crazy for placing faith in something I’ve never seen to sustain me. Not so I think, because I do it constantly with each and every breath of invisible yet life sustaining air I take.

  A hand full of mustard seeds.

A hand full of mustard seeds.

The truth is, I really don’t know how to believe at times, but my faith helps me to believe even when I “feel” I cannot. My faith is small and fragile, but I still believe. You see, that’s what it all boils down to...faith! Big or small, it’s faith. I am reminded what Jesus said in Matthew 17:20. “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” My faith is not quite that huge (as a mustard seed) yet, but I’m practicing every day.

The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter if you are dealing with a trial like a special needs child or something else. I promise you this; at some point in time your faith is going to get tested, and more than just once. Jesus told us this in John 16:33. But He also gave us hope in the same breath. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Be prepared, it’s coming, but our Lord provides a peace that passes our understanding. I’ve never understood it, but I’m glad it’s there.

Lastly, Ivi Grace is doing great. I’ll be posting an update about her situation soon. Until then, know that the prayers you have trusted to the Lord have made a huge difference for healing and in her moving forward. Thank you and please do not stop. We love you all!

Merry Christmas everyone!