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What Faith has taught me...
I have often wondered since becoming a Christian at the age of 11, what keeps a person going during times of trouble. Is it the will to live? People commit suicide every day. I myself tried to attempt it twice when I was a teen. Was it love? People say “I love you” at least once a day, but do they really mean it? Is it love when one person abuses another person? No, it is not. These are all human emotions that get in the way of something which can be truly beautiful, if that person will let it. This is what has been going through my head in the last couple of weeks. Even though I am now well past my teen years, there are still some things that I am trying to understand. Things such as:
- Why a beloved aunt had to die, when the hospital she was in could have done more to save her?
- Why a perfectly normal, outgoing teen suddenly becomes shy and unsure of himself the day after his 15th birthday?
- How a mile-wide tornado can touch down and destroy a whole town which has several of your relatives as citizens? One of those relatives is burying that same beloved aunt two days after.
I would have to say, faith. Before I go into the concept of faith, let’s look at the definition of the word. According to dictionary.com, the word faith means, “Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.” This means for a married couple faith in a marriage, where there is complete trust in the other person. This person is bonded by the institute of marriage, and they will not lie, cheat, nor do bodily harm to the other. To a parent or child, it means that the other person will be honest, including correcting, not hurting the child. I like to look at this meaning of the word a little further.
Also according the dictionary.com, faith means, “Strong belief in God, or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.” Hum, that is a mouthful to say the least. I have had people question me in life about God’s existence. I do not want to get too deep into it, because that topic is a totally different subject matter. I do want to say this: The universe did not happen in one big bang moment. This theory is what some scientists and atheists believe in. Nothing just explodes into existence. Well enough with that.
Back to my original three questions. I do not know why these things happened in my life all at once. I do not have all the answers I just believe that God will take care of all of them. I cannot talk about faith without talking about belief. Dictionary.com says that it is , “an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.” Maybe God is trying to tell this hospital my aunt was in, that they need to clean up their act. It all depends on if my uncle will ask for authorities to look further into her death. My nephew is getting better. It is a slow process, but he is becoming more like himself every day. As for the town of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, who knows what, will come out of that disaster. A better warning system, a better plan for evacuations, or maybe better relationships.
From Romans 10:17 (NIV),” Faith comes by hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” So what is the message that we all are supposed to hear through Christ? I believe it is to love one another, take care of each other, and help where help is needed. That seems to be the message for the past 18 months for me. It first started with Haiti and China last year, Japan two months ago, followed by Tuscaloosa, Alabama and the other southern states. Three years ago, it was the tsunami in Indonesia, and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, LA. This message also says never take anything for granted, because it only takes a second for everything to be gone.
Do me a big favor. Hug your loved ones tonight, tell them that you love them, and really mean it. Help someone, even if means getting them a drink of water. You do not have get into something big. Please do not ask for recognition, because asking someone to recognize you is not from the heart. If someone decides to recognize you for the awesome work you did with the food pantry, let them do so. Be grateful for the things you have, and be patient for the things you do not have. Maybe it is not meant to be for you to receive it, but for someone else to do so. Maybe God is telling you to wait just a little bit longer. If this is what faith has taught me, so far I am doing pretty good with the lesson, but I have a long way to go.
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