Does Having Faith Make a Difference?
It’s at times like these that I wish I had your faith.
He exhaled, his head hung low and his hands shook.
“It’s at times like these that I wish it made a difference,” she whispered into the thick silence.
I had been half-watching a TV show when I heard the lines above. My husband was working late so it was my night to get some writing done, or read and catch up on the programs that I knew he would never want to watch. I had turned the TV on mostly just to have some background noise as I was intent on finishing some research for a project. Until I heard these words.
On the screen was one of those situations where something bad had happened to someone good: a newborn baby had died for no obvious reason.
I continued watching, mostly because the above lines kept playing over and over in my mind. They were true, though hard to admit.
Just because I have faith, doesn’t mean it makes a difference in some situations
Like when a newborn dies unexpectedly. Or when a perfectly healthy 35-year-old man drops dead of a heart attack leaving a family behind. Or when tragedy strikes in a thousand and one other ways. Death. Destruction. Natural disasters. War. Poverty. Betrayal.
These are more than just words. They are real circumstances that pound upon us every day, making our faith something that we question and doubt. And then later we feel guilty about doing both.
Our faith does not change the circumstances. It doesn’t lessen the pain. It doesn’t make sense of the horrific things that occur in the world. It barely even gives much comfort.
A glimmer of light in the midst of the darkness. A reason to keep pressing forward. A moment of peace in the midst of cruelty.
And sometimes that’s all we need.
I don’t know what trials you are facing today, Friend. I cannot know your specific pain, your greatest fears, your deepest sorrow. But I know they exist and you are struggling through them. And maybe you’re wondering whether your faith can handle it. Is it enough to get you through what you’re going through right now? Maybe it is. Perhaps it is not.
It’s not stepping into a building with a steeple that makes us strong to weather the storms of life. Bibles don’t come with spells or pixie dust to ward off bad news, doctor reports, sickness, unemployment, divorce or addition. Claiming the word “christian” or sitting under the teaching of a great preacher doesn’t make the fight any easier either.
But let me assure you, there is one thing that will give you hope. It is faith in Him that gives us courage in the face of any circumstance. In Jesus.
His shoulders are wide. His burden is light. His strength is enough.
He does not offer a removal of pain, suffering or loss. He doesn’t promise a bunker to hide in so that you never have to endure grief, abandonment or betrayal.
What He gives is a shelter to weather the storm, and a companion to walk through it with you. He offers to carry you and give you rest when you are exhausted, and be the friend that you cannot seem to find in your current reality. He listens. He hears. He knows all.
Wherever you are, Friend, I pray that you may know the reality of Jesus. Because often our faith isn’t enough for our situation. But He is.