Faith is believing in things unseen. I have always seen that as an encouragement from Hebrews to keep believing God for miracles, the supernatural – especially in the area of physical healing. I have, at times, seen faith as something I must conjure up in order to see God do great and amazing and supernatural things.
Today I had a mindstrike (as my nephew puts it, instead of a brainwave) … thinking at times that I have lost my faith in prayer, or am losing it slowly with the knocks of living life as a previously zealous intercessor and believer for three decades. Praying for people, being ‘obedient’ and stepping out and doing faith-filled things, like praying for a blind man when I felt God prompt me to, and for a friend’s dead baby to come alive in her womb; I have called out to God for healing of two friends younger than me who had cancer and died within 6 months of each other. I have heard friends cry out to God to change their sexual orientation as it did not fit their theology or the theology of those around them – begged, pleaded. I have begged with them at times.
I have so many memories of prayer not ‘working’ and things remaining the same or getting worse in the areas of ‘healing’ and restoration.
I realised tonight … that I still believe God is good, that I know God is mystery and I will never understand theology, as it feels like I am trying to capture the clouds, or minimise the universe, or play marbles with the galaxies; I realised that I love and trust this same Jesus who has not answered my or others’ prayers so many times that I have lost count – that I still trust, love, believe in and continue to want to lay my life down for this One (although I don’t do it very well at times) – perhaps that is faith. I am a woman of faith. I have faith in spite of things unseen, things I have hoped to see and not. I have faith in spite of prayers being unanswered, time and time again. I have faith in One who I do not understand, but whom I know is good. It does not make sense. It is supernatural – beyond the natural response I would or should have. It is supernatural because it goes against the natural consequence of changing behaviour due to disappointment.
The natural is to turn away from something that has not ‘worked’ for decades, the supernatural is to see that it is not supposed to ‘work’ – that it is a relationship with a God who loves, lives in and through me, and breathes in and out of the world around me. Perhaps it is supernatural that I keep asking fervently for what I believe to be the ‘best’ for those around me. I still believe in God, in spite of my experience and questions and disappointment – and so perhaps I am not losing my faith – perhaps I am just starting to find it – nowadays in the grey zone of disappointment and the colour of trust, and not in the black and white of right or wrong, and ‘answer on demand’ any longer.