Faith Built In The Fire
Have you ever sat in a church service, or listened to a song on the radio, and just knew that the message was about you? Well, at church on Sunday, that was exactly what I experienced. I heard a sermon that revealed exactly what the last 6 months have been like not just for me, but for my family. We learned in early May that faith is built in the fire. And everything we knew to be normal would change us forever.
Like a lightning strike, I was hit with pain in the left side of my face. I hadn’t done anything to cause it. It just came on like a switch in my brain was flicked on. The only way that I can explain the pain was like it was comparable to getting teeth pulled with no medication (For the record, I have never actually experienced that, but I imagine it was similar to what I was feeling). The pain was horrible! An 11 on a 1-10 pain scale. Every single day without warning I had shocks, numbing, ripping pain. Tears streamed down my face with every jolt, as doctor after doctor misdiagnosed what was taking place. No medicine given could touch the pain that was boring into my face. Finally, an appointment with my dentist led me to the possibilities of what was taking place and he prescribed me something that seemed to take the edge off of my pain.
At first, my suffering was completely physical. As if the pain weren’t enough, it began to affect the way I ate, spoke, even how I smiled. As a teacher, it felt like my life was halted. I was in the middle of Grad school, I was teaching a class on my new book. Life seemed to moving along so smoothly. But that all changed. Unfortunately, it did not end there. Soon, what was physical pain became a mental depression. As a Christian, I felt that maybe I missed something. I believe in healing, but my pain wasn’t going away! I trusted God, but the pain seemed to blind my reality. The medication soon numbed my emotions and stole my laughter. I found myself fearful of the next attack. It was like I was in a glass box, waiting to be shattered. I was suffering from pain no other person could see. I could no longer trust my thoughts. I was in a mental prison that almost outweighed the horrendous pain I was in. Yet I knew somewhere inside of my soul, that God had not left. And if I knew nothing else, I knew that God was, is, and will always be faithful. For Revelation 1:8 says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,’ says the Lord, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” I knew He was God and would not leave.
One day, the Holy Spirit spoke something that began to break the glass that surrounded my mind. Time and time again people prayed healing for me. Over and over they prayed that it would all disappear. I liked the sound of those prayers, but the Holy Spirit challenged me to pray something else. He whispered to my heart, “don’t pray any longer for healing. The healing is done. Pray for the courage to stand in the storm.” A shift took place in my soul. I was praying for something that I had already obtained because as 1 Peter 2:9 says, “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” What I had not prayed for was courage to stand in the midst of the adversity. I had not sought God for the courage to stand, believing that I was already healed, even if I could not see it. What I did not anticipate was that this shift would set me on my path to not just knowing I was healed, but living like I was healed.
I have no idea what you may be going through today. I may never experience the storm you may be walking through. But I know one thing for sure, My God is the same God who is walking through your storm with you. I may not understand your trial, but He does. And what He has done in and through me, is what He can do in and through you. But there is one thing required of you just as there was of me; FAITH.
Hebrews 11:6 reminds us that, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Unless we have faith, we will never be able to do all that God has purposed for us to do. Faith isn’t just for us to get what we want! Faith is to get us through the hell that bursts into our comfortable lives. Faith is the comfort when we have no answers for our pain. Faith is the command for that mountain consuming our minds to MOVE!
So what are you believing God for? What will you do when you are out of moves on the chessboard of your life? Will you trust Him or will you attempt to fix what is unfixable by the hands of man? I chose during my greatest trial to date, to trust Him. To trust His word. To walk by faith and believe there was no other option. The choice is yours to make.