Faith/fāTH/ noun strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof. I understand the definition of believing without seeing and knowing that God exists and is our Creator but can I think further than that?
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
I posed a question last week to a class I teach weekly that’s purpose is to think and reflect on something, anything. My questions was, “Are you able to paint an actual picture of your faith?” They of course looked at me quizzically so I explained further. “If I handed you a sketch pad and a pencil as asked you to represent faith as a visual drawing, what would you draw?”
I let them think a minute before I proceeded. “I think the first thing that will come to our minds may be a drawing of a cross or Jesus face.” I again paused for a minute as they still continued to look at each other still a bit confused. I decided I would help them out. “Let me tell you why I chose this topic today. I posed this same question to myself earlier this week and it took me quite a bit of thinking and reflection on what I would draw.” Then when God stepped into my thoughts and my heart when a light went off and it was all clear.
The pictures starting flooding my mind of what I could represent visually as my faith. The first picture would be of a beautiful baby that came out of an alcohol and drug riddled marriage. My first husband was a victim of alcoholism and deep drug abuse. It was a dark and hopeless time for me until God blessed me with my baby girl. As I tried to help my husband release his demons, God knew I would have to leave him to have a better life. God knew I needed my daughter to stay strong and have the drive to create a better life for us. My faith at the time was not in the traditional way since I didn’t understand how to have a relationship with Our Father but he showed me faith through Lexie, my daughter. This was also about the time I decided to attend church, become baptized and accept Jesus.
Another picture would be of my parents. In the last six years, my dad was diagnosed with bladder cancer and my mom with melanoma. These both were opportunities for me to stand in faith and trust God for His will and plan. Although the treatment for both types of cancer were tough on my parents they are both free of those two cancers. God showed me how trust and be patient for the outcome without anxiety and worry. He was training me how to be faithful and be obedient to know He would bring us all out better.
Mark 11:22-24 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Now if you have read my blogs the last few months you know our family is facing cancer again. My dad again has cancer and this time it is pancreatic cancer. This is a very deadly and scary cancer. When we received the diagnosis and prognosis we were saddened. I sat in my car and cried but then I stopped and said to myself, “Why am I crying? That’s a lack of faith and we have God handling this. I have faith and faith has brought us through treatments before with both my parents.” I wiped my tears and felt peace in my heart. I prayed, “Father I am sorry for that anxiety and worry I just showed you. I trust You Father and I know Your plan is best for all of us. If this is when You have decided to take my dad then I know and accept this. I am grateful for the opportunity to be here for my dad and comfort him in Your name. I will be obedient and walk this path with my dad with You leading the way. I know You are going before us so I am faithful and trusting in You. In Jesus name I offer this prayer.”
I took a deep breath as I drove away from my parents house, again felt peace in my heart. Shortly after this news my dad decided to be treated here in Dallas instead of at MD Anderson in Houston primarily because of the logistics. We had a telemedicine call a pancreatic surgeon at UT Southwestern and the first things out of the doctor’s mouth was, “Mr. Butler you are functionally healthy and this is a walk we take together. I am always here for you, if you need me do not hesitate to call.” Wait, who does that sound like? My Father in heaven always walks with us and is always available when we need Him. Thank you Father, I caught that comforting message. I again would draw a picture of my dad to visualize faith.
Isaiah 30:21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
Another picture I would draw is a picture of my husband. Wes is a man of grace, kindness, support, and a quiet faith. God blessed me with Wes in a away only God could. See I was moving from Illinois to Texas and the moving van was coming in a few days. I had everything pretty much boxed up and ready to go when two of my girlfriends asked me to show them what online dating was. This was at the beginning of online dating so since I was divorced for a few years I was trying it. My computer was packed so I unpacked it, reconnected it and logged into the dating site. I showed my girlfriends a full screen of potential guys matched to me. “Pick one and I’ll show you how it works!” One of my friends closed her eyes and pointed to a picture. “Talk to this one.” Well I probably don’t have to tell you that this guy is now my husband. Unhooked and packed computer, random closed eyes pick that became my soulmate. May I just say, “Thank you GOD!” God placed Wes in my life because I had faith after my divorce that He would bring me someone special. Another picture I can paint visually of faith.
1 Peter 3:14-15 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
I think you get the picture and I hope that you will visualize your faith on paper. We can draw many pictures when we begin thinking of how God blesses us and gives us good reason to always stand in faith. Be thankful for whatever you are going through and find gratitude in each situation and you will see God at work. My love and gratitude for you-LoLo