How to Perfect Your Faith
There are so many entries on faith in the bible
This is my favorite definition of faith in the bible. "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" [Hebrews 11:1 KJV], and my favorite story, that of the Centurion whose slave was ill and who said to Jesus, "Command that he gets well and it is done". Indeed every time I go back to that story I am reminded to reexamine my faith and yet, every time I go back it was always the time when I had perfected faith by surrender that miracles occurred. My ego always wants me to control how things will go, from the most mundane to the greatest challenges.
God does not test our faith. There is no need to do so. We create all these little dramas in our lives to experience something that we may grow. Hard as I try, I cannot imagine a punitive God.
I will illustrate this with a story. Once there was a man who had always been righteous. He never did anything wrong, did his duties well, and generally was very happy. His passion was designing ocean faring vessels, from the simplest to the most elaborate.
He was content with his work. It was how he honored God for every ship that he built, he first offered to God. Because he built ships, he traveled a lot and when he thought he had already worked enough, he decided to retire and do just volunteer work. He can now devote more time to helping others, not monetarily but with his time.
Although he has been quite successful, he lived simply, had plenty of good friends, and at sixty years of age, he had amassed a great fortune he planned to donate to charity when he passed on. He had never been married, nor had he fallen in love with anyone.
One day, while visiting a long time friend who had invited him for dinner, someone knocked on the door. As his friend was cooking dinner and could not leave the kitchen he asked the man to please open the door, and there she was, young and beautiful and with the most soulful eyes he had ever seen. He thought he was dreaming for his heart jumped, he felt it. He thought she was an angel that just dropped from the heavens.
The woman turned out to be the daughter of the neighbors across and she had come to ask if the paper was delivered that day because her parents did not get theirs. They were introduced and from then on he decided that this is the woman he wanted to marry.
So he courted her with flowers and presents and everything else he could think of. Generally she was very nice and kind hearted with him, but he knew she did not love him, not the romantic way. And the man got very frustrated, for there was nothing and no one he desired most.
One night after another frustrating night he turned to God. He was in his living room and he said out loud, “Why God, must you put this desire in my heart when you would not grant me her love. I have never asked You for anything and I am always grateful for what you have given me. I am asking you now! “And he wept,like an abandoned child for his pain was so great, and afterwards he fell asleep.
And an angel swept his spirit and took him to a place which seemed to float in the clouds and God was there.
And God waved His hand and there appeared another place and the man saw himself with this woman he loved. They were married and had children, but the woman fell in love with another man and tried to leave him. And in his anger, he took a gun and shot his wife and her lover and his children saw this and he was filled with remorse and he shot himself as well. And God said to him “Because you have always been faithful to me, I can grant you your wish and make her fall in love with you. But behold, what I showed you is what will happen in a few years, and that is a consequence of my intervening on your behalf, right now. Do you wish it?”
And the man woke up and behold it was a dream, and he understood why God did not want to grant him his wish. And he kneeled and prayed in earnest, and thanked God for his dream. He decided that it was best for him to forget the woman so he buried himself in charity work far away from where the woman lived, and did not visit the woman again. He told his friend the woman’s neighbor that he would be away and will not be visiting him for a while.
A few years passed and when he came back he had totally lost interest in the woman and he visited his friend again. When he arrived, there was somebody there with his friend. A woman! Oh but this woman looked so much like the woman he first fell in love with, but was older and also her eyes were different. It was full of compassion and kindness he could almost feel that the woman was pure and with a great love for God.
And his friend spoke and said “Please meet Mary, the other daughter of my neighbors across. Mary was in a nunnery for a long time but decided that her place was not in the nunnery but in serving various charities, and I thought you could use her help with your various charities.
And the man knew that this woman was what God reserved for him.
© 2009 by Melinda M. Sorensson