Looking Within Ourselves
Faith is not always something that is easy to explain let alone describe. You know it is there, even if you cannot see it. You can just feel it. Like the cool night air, you cannot see it but feel it around you.
You can watch it will the leaves on the trees to rustle and the flowers in the grass to sway back and forth. Even though you cannot see the breeze with the naked eye, you can feel its power all around you, you know it’s there the same way you are as certain about your faith as you are with the cool night breeze. You have felt its power within you and around you, you have seen it work through people and will them to act on their faith and their beliefs in our loving Lord Jesus Christ.
Yet to a person who lacks faith, faith is something impossible to claim–let alone offer your whole life up for it.
Even for those who do have a level of faith, offering your whole life up for your faith can be quite difficult and extremely confronting.
It forces us to basically look in the mirror and question ourselves.
So let’s do that. Let’s look into that mirror and honestly ask ourselves, one: what is faith? and two: do I have faith?
For me, faith is believing something has the power to make a change for the greater good without actually having to see something physical as evidence of its existence.
The definition of faith in Wikipedia says,
“Faith is complete confidence or trust in a person or thing; or a belief not based on proof. It may also refer to a particular system of religious belief. The term ‘faith’ has numerous connotations and is used in different ways, often depending on context.”
In the Catechism of the Catholic church, it states,
“Abraham thus fulfills the definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1: ‘Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen’:7 ‘Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.’8 Because he was ‘strong in his faith’, Abraham became the ‘father of all who believe’”.
When we ask ourselves what is faith and we are able to answer that question, naturally the following question is: do I have faith?
Do I have faith? I honestly could sit here for half the day pondering that question, taking a look at it from all different angles.
Maybe the best thing to do would be to break it down.
Do I believe in an almighty powerful God even though I cannot see Him?
Yes, I do. I believe in God with all my heart. I have never doubted that He exists. I am sure of this like I am sure that the grass is green and the sky is blue.
Even though I cannot see God, I feel His strong presence around me throughout my life. I can see the blessings He has given us. I look around me and see this amazing and wonderful family I have. I can see His work all around me and in those I Iove as well.
Do I have complete trust and confidence in God? Do I live my life in complete trust and confidence in God? Do I place my trust and my life in His hands? Do I have enough faith to have complete trust and confidence in God even if it means losing my life here on earth?
I have to answer this carefully and with much humility.
You see, my health problems always complicate things for me, especially my pregnancies. There have been times where things have become quite scary for me and I had to use all my strength to get through each hour of the day.
Most people are scared for me. They are always scared that the next pregnancy could be it.
But the problem is that I cannot live my life on what-ifs or on a fear that something may happen.
As you can imagine, being chronically sick for so long, I have had plenty of time to think things through.
There are times where I have no strength to move or even breathe well. It’s all a big effort.
But the moment I offer my sufferings up to God and place my life in His hands, this massive burden is lifted off my shoulders and even though I am suffering greatly, there is joy in my heart.
The fear is gone and I have a new-found strength given to me by God Himself.
I trust that God’s plan for me is better than my own plan for myself. I trust that if God allows for me to suffer, then it is for my own good, for my own salvation.
I completely trust that God knows which path will get me to heaven the fastest.
I also trust that God knows which blessings I need in my life instead of what I want.
So by looking at these points I have made, I guess I could say: yes, I do have faith.
But how strong is that faith?
Reading reports about the ISIS, I wonder how firm I would stand for my faith.
If the ISIS held a gun to my head and asked me if I was Catholic….
How would I respond?
With great shame and sadness I have to admit to myself, in the moment of true fear, I think I would find it very hard to have courage and to stand up to the ISIS and declare my faith.
It is with even more sadness that by answering that question, I know that my faith isn’t as strong as it should be.
My faith is nowhere near it.
Copyright 2016 Allison Brown.