Friday, June 19, 2009

New Soil for Planting Greater Faith

It's late; I definitely should be in bed. But I tried it earlier and couldn't shut down my mind. Tomorrow I will post more on what a day Thursday was, but for now suffice it to say, it brought some challenges.

It's been quite a week, really. It started last Saturday when Tim came home from a board meeting with the unwelcome news that one of the pastors at our church, Mark Wilson, a 42 year old man in seemingly great health, had experienced not only one, but two heart attacks. We've seen him hanging on for his health this past week, as he has suffered from congestive heart failure and awaits a triple bypass this coming Monday.

Tuesday my Uncle John, as you know from the previous two posts, experienced a nearly fatal episode of congestive heart failure as well.

My Aunt Carol is having troubles with her vision and is in fact undergoing testing to pinpoint exactly what is the cause of this vision loss...and to answer the question of: can her vision even be saved?

Reading on websites about congestive heart failure has caused me to reflect on the fact that my heart has its own set of problems. Oh, I get along just great from day to day with never a symptom (thankfully!), but I do have a congenital defect, and was hospitalized in December 2006 for endocarditis.

So, what I am saying is: this is all very terrifying to assess the fragile state of a human being's physical health. Just last week three people were seemingly just one week later a 42 year old man is facing open heart surgery, and my aunt and uncle both may be facing major changes to life as they knew it prior to last weekend. Major changes can come so quickly. And worry creeps in...and wants to stay.

But I'm realizing tonight that in these life challenges I'm observing, I have yet another chance to grow greater faith. The seeds for growing new faith have been planted by these events that have happened due to living in a fallen world. We're not home yet! We live here where sin and death still infect... While I walk down here on this rough and rocky road, I can look up to God and fully trust him in these situations that can look so hopeless to me.

And furthermore, how forgetful I can be of the many times he has brought me through similar situations! God has shown himself to be a Healer time and time and time again. Thank you God! In my own life, I was not even expected to live to be 12 years old, but I've made it (plus 33 years)! I had a heart valve balloon procedure done when I was 24, the youngest patient at that time to have that procedure done here in Grand Rapids, but God used that to bring healing to my heart. God also healed me of a speech defect when I was 7 years old. And most recently God spared my life from death and from potentialy devastating problems with endocarditis. I am thankful for his healing touch on my life.

So I am digging deep, and planting these new seeds in the soil, expecting God to do great things as I trust him in each circumstance. Whether I see it or feel it, or not, still I am confident that new faith is going to grow. Because down deep I know that God is good - all the time - and all the time - God is good. And I can trust Him. That's the bottom line.

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