Monday, June 20, 2011

My Weakening Faith

Hello friend!

Spiritually speaking this is a difficult post for me to write.  Not because I don't want to share my pain with you but because the words that I have penned here are a reminder of a time in my life when my faith in Christ was starting diminish, and quite frankly, those are not memories that I like to relive.  Gasp!  Did I just say that?  I am a Christian woman and I shouldn't say those things!!!  Well, if you have been reading my blog for any amount of time now you have probably figured out that I am REAL!  I share my feelings and emotions, my failures, my pain and my sin.  My 'life is perfect' mask is NOT on!
Where was my Savior in all of this?

I believe with all my heart that this is a post that needs to be written because I feel there are many Christian women out in the world today who are hurting and they have been crying out to the Lord, and yet, because of their trials and afflictions, their faith is starting to weaken as well.  I pray that this article comes at a time that you need to be encouraged to press on in your faith.

If you missed my last post, Aching Inside, you can read it here because it goes along with this story.

I wish I could write and tell you that the new treatment that I received was easy and I felt great immediately, but that was not the case. In fact, I felt worse rather than better for several weeks on end. During the acupuncture treatments, as the doctor would place the needles in me, she would then hook electricity up to the needles that were in my body because she said my health condition was so severe. (And no, it is not normal to be hooked up to electricity!)

While we were paying hundreds of dollars for this treatment, our home was still in foreclosure and now our utility bills were becoming overdue. The water was almost turned off one morning but we were able to prevent it, however, that same afternoon the power went out in the house and I thought it was because of the rain we were having, but that was not the reason! It was our unpaid, overdue bill.  It was a long night without any light, electricity and heat. My husband felt like a failure once again because of our financial demise and I felt physically worse, yet, I did not want him to see the pain on my face because of how my body was feeling. I was at year 8 of my physical, long-suffering and my beloved husband was only at year 2 of his time in the dry desert, so I wanted to lift him up when he was down rather than the other way around.

Although we were still faithfully following Christ and serving in ministry, I could not help but wonder where my Savior was in all of this? I knew He brought me to this new doctor but now I was filled will doubt and confusion based on how I felt physically along with our lack of money. I couldn’t help but wonder if we made the right choice? Did I hear Him correctly? I believed so at the time. "For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints." 1 Corinthians 14:33  We continued on in my treatment and had blind faith that I would be physically restored regardless of how grim our situation looked.

I knew to just rest in Christ and be faithful, but our life looked so bleak that I started to look around at all of the storm clouds that were surrounding us. How were we going to survive, I thought? “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 Unfortunately, I did not keep my mind on Jesus and therefore, I did not have peace which ultimately weakened my faith.  (It breaks my heart to write those words because this situation took place in the year of 2009, and being that it is 2 years later, I am obviously aware of the outcome!)  I feared our outcome when I shouldn’t have. "Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." Matthew 10:31

Even though my beloved was a real estate broker, he took any odd job that came his way so he could provide for us. We never knew how much money we were going to receive on a daily basis so we just had to live day by day, relying on the Lord for our sustenance.  Soon, God blessed my beloved with the opportunity to work at my doctor’s office to install counter tops, paint cabinets and do various tasks in trade for a couple months’ worth of my treatment. Once again, there was no reason for me to fear and doubt what God was doing in our lives. He was providing for us.

"Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved." Psalm 55:22 As God calls His children ‘the righteous’, unfortunately, this righteous person was starting to be moved (and in the wrong direction!) I was trying to cast my burdens on Him but I was so physically, mentally and emotionally overwhelmed in all of our trials and pain.  May faith was beginning to weaken and I was heading into a time of dark despair and denial of Christ.  (I will share about that in my next post at Before the Rooster Crows)

If there is anything I can say to help prevent a sister from heading down the path that I was once on, it would  be this:
Do the best you can to keep your eyes on Jesus because He is with you. He has a plan for all that you are going through. Don’t doubt what He is doing in your life. He knows how much you are suffering and He will help you get through it!  Continue to stay in His Word.  Be in fellowship and be prayed for!

I don’t know your trials or your pain. Perhaps He is refining you. "I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering." Isaiah 48:10
I will leave you with this beautiful story called, Refining Silver by an unknown author. It ministered to my heart so much that I just had to share it with you!

Refining Silver

Some time ago, a few ladies met in a certain city to read the scriptures, and make them the subject of conversation. While reading the third chapter of Malachi they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse: "And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." One lady's opinion was that is was intended to convey the view of the sanctifying influence of the grace of Christ. Then she proposed to visit a silversmith and report to them what he said on the subject.
She went accordingly and without telling the object of her errand, begged to know the process of refining silver, which he fully described to her.
"But Sir" she said, "do you sit while the work of refining is going on?" "Oh, yes, madam," replied the silversmith; "I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining be exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured."
The lady at once saw the beauty, and comfort too, of the expression, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."
Christ sees it needful to put His children into a furnace; His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for them. Their trials do not come at random; "the very hairs of your head are all numbered."
As the lady was leaving the shop, the silversmith called her back, and said he had forgotten to mention that the only way that he knows when the process of purifying is complete is when he sees his own image reflected in the silver....
--Author Unknown
Keep your eyes on Jesus!


Carrie said...

Oh, I love that story you included in your post! Thank you!

Marcia said...

This was beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing!