Last night I watched Extreme Home Makeover and what a waterfall of tears it caused. This family had a normal average life. They were happy and healthy, until one day they found out that their 4 year old had leukemia . His name is Job, named after the biblical man Job. According to the mother (I don't read the bible so I do not know the story of Job)  Job suffered most of his life but the later part of his life was wonderful and blessed and she is hoping the same for her son. This family had so much faith in God and I have always noticed suffering families normally do. How can you have faith in God when your child is dying? How can you have faith in God when you cannot afford to fix your home to keep it safe for your sick child? How can families with such suffering and sadness keep that faith? Then there are people like me who have no faith. I have never suffered or been without. My health and the health of my children and husband is perfect. My plate is full and my home warm. Yet I have no faith. I have always been a little jealous of the people with a strong faith in the lord. Those families that pack up every Sunday and make their way to their church, celebrate with fellow believers, and have that fellowship.

How do I, a person without faith, find fellowship? Where is my community of people? I have gone to many churches hoping that something would touch me deeply enough that I to could join the faithful and the fellowship but it never happens. I believe in the sun, the stars, the moon, the trees, and all the nature around me. Couldn't the earth just always have been, just as God has? Why does their have to be a creator? What is around me is concrete, I can see it, smell it, touch it, taste it. God or his son are not in my hands, I cannot feel them around me, and I do not see them with my eyes.

How do they have such faith in nothing? The jealousy I carry, that they can see, feel, touch, and taste such a super natural being can be bothersome at times. I ignore it and pack it away and close my eyes and feel the sun on my face.  I smile and nod to you who have faith. I hope you have enough for the rest of us.

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singe...
Jul. 20, 2009 at 10:32 AM

Faith is a weird wonderful subject for those like I who do believe. We believe because we heard the knock on our hearts, we answered the door of the one who died to save us and we felt our burdens be lifted. Job did suffer, but prior to his suffering he did well, and he spent his days giving glory and honor to the God who had brought him to that point. You say why can't the trees and nature have just come about, like God was, well God was never made, but we do have scientific evidence that life was. Science is proving more and more everyday the accuracy and truth behind the bible. Many want to disregard it because they time frame the earth on science, but the very science against a 7 day creation is the same that is proving the rest to be true. Our 7 days and God's 7 days are completely different.

What you believe is your belief. But I know the God whom i have served, and no he never promised us a rose garden , but he did promise us favor and grace.. who do you know that will completely forgive you of every wrong you have ever done and never hold it against you again?? Who do you know would not only die for you, but for everyone else and take upon them every thing you culd ever screw up on and suffer for those mistakes? I know of only one Jesus. What I find interesting is that every religion has Jesus in their tenents of faith and belief, though they may not view him as the son of God they do view him as an example to be followed and emulated.

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Eilish
Jul. 21, 2009 at 4:25 PM

Tina

You ask some very deep questions, and they are certainly valid. I can't even attempt to answer them all here, just because they require some huge answers.

First, of all ..... the account of Job's life is very valuable to any person who started out life financially well off, healthy, and without a care in the world. The reason why Job suffered was because Satan believed that Job's faith was based entirely off of the goodness and blessings he had received, and Satan told God that if Job didn't have any of it, that Job would fall away from faith. The account is very long, but it essentially boils down to God allowing Satan to bring hardship to Job's life to test Job's faith. God does indeed test the faith of believer's. Job remained faithful, but towards the end, Job began to question God; challenge God with questions of "If you were so benevolent why would you  _____________" God answers Job by essentially saying that in spite of everything God is still in control and sovereign and that there is a reason for everything that happens to us in life. Job repented for his distrust and unbelief and God returned to him the wealth and health 10-fold.

Tina .... my husband and I have been going through hardship for over 3 years now. We don't have a home to call our own; he doesn't have a stable job; our credit is shot; and have accrued some debt (thank God it isn't as bad as most people), and he now has an injured knee as in need of surgery in order to return to work. In spite of all of this, this hardship has taught me lessons that I would not be able to learn had everything been handed to me on a silver platter. My faith has grown stronger, and I am content with less. And God has provided ..... miraculously on a few occasions. I'll briefly describe one of them.

When my daughter was about 10 months old, my husband had a job driving limousines. In NM this isn't a stable job, so our income was sporadic. One Sunday morning, we were getting ready for church, and I put on Saoirse's last diaper, feed her with her last bottle of formula, and didn't have enough baby food left. Normally I would have been freaking out, but I was unusually calm about it - I knew that we weren't going to be left hanging. I told Curtis and we decided after church that we would visit my parents and ask to borrow some money.

When we got to church, our Pastor comes up to Curtis and asks to speak with him privately. I sat down and then just as the music started, Curtis sat down with me. He put an envelope into his back pocket. I asked him what it was and he said that he didn't know. After church, when we were pulling out the parking lot, Curtis pulled out the envelope and asked me to open it. He said that our Pastor was told by someone he didn't know to give it to "someone in need at the church." He didn't know what it was either (and we hadn't told him about our immediate financial need). I opened up the envelope to find $200 inside. I began to cry because I knew instantly that it was a gift from God. $200 was more than enough to buy what we needed for Saorise.

There are other times where I have has personal experiences with God, but the point is that my faith is not in nothing. While I cannot see God, my spirit can hear his voice (not audibly), I can feel His love (and on two occasions this was quite literal and overwhelming), I can feel His presence .... I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is there. Faith is a personal experience. And why some experience it and not others, I cannot explain. Some believe it is predestination (that only certain people are chosen to come to faith) and others believe that God has simply chosen not to reveal himself as of yet to some people. But what I do know is this .... no human can experience God on their own. No human has a natural tendency to seek out God. Only when someone is moved by the Holy Spirit does one seek out God. So if you have had an inkling to seek out God, I would recommend, that instead of trying to feel it yourself, ask God for the faith to feel it. Because if you've had an inkling, that it might be that the Holy Spirit is working on you. Faith is a gift; it is not something that I conjure up. My faith was given to me. God says in scripture, that when you ask for something righteous, you will receive it - and faith is certainly righteous.

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Eilish
Jul. 21, 2009 at 4:31 PM

PS. This song, has gotten me through so much ....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHdcyue0bSw

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Eilish
Jul. 21, 2009 at 4:52 PM

last one ... I promise .... ;-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J95rAr0gOFU

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Tinas...
Jul. 22, 2009 at 9:39 AM

Thank you Eilish, I too have experienced hardship but I always look at it as temporary and not as bad as things could be. I have a home, a beautiful one, I have a wonderful family, my children are healthy and although we struggle sometimes I know I am luckier then most.

You spoke about feeling it, I have never felt it. I tried seeking it out for a couple years and never did. I moved from church to church and nothing. I went to one church were you could physically see how moved these people were by their faith and it was like I had a force field around me, so it could not touch me.

My mother is born again and talks about her testimony, and how she felt it. My mother never went to church a day in her life. I can remember her telling my father, who is catholic, how stupid it was and what a waste of time. Now she is all about her faith.

I find it amazing how people are able to have that feeling, that faith, that totally surrender to someone they have never seen or have concret truth about. Secretly I am jealous sometimes :)

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Eilish
Jul. 22, 2009 at 1:16 PM

Tina .... I really think that if you asked God to give you that faith that He would give it to you. No one is able to come to faith on their own, so if you have tried and failed, it is because no one can do it on their own. No one can do it on their own because all people are sinful. But God desires to have all come to Him.

In spite of some popular Evangelical teachings, there is no special prayer to pray. There are no "magic words" that just make it happen. Just find some quiet time - whenever that may be - and tell God that you want to experience that kind of faith, and that you can't get it on your own. There's no need to be secretly jealous, when all you have to do is ask.

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