by Victoria Boyson
In our own human reasoning, it is easy to assume that a great man or woman of faith is one who readily receives answers to their prayers. We, in our human wisdom, congratulate their ability to "have faith" as being the reason their prayers are answered. But it does not take great faith to trust God when all our prayers are being answered, does it?
You see, God is not a vending machine that you can put your quarters of faith in, push a button and out pops whatever you are believing for. It does not take great faith to believe God when all you ask for is promptly answered in your favor.
No, a truly great man or woman of faith is one who continues to trust God when they do not understand what He is doing - when God doesn't make sense. God's ways are not our ways and He sees the bigger picture; we do not. So, we are forced to trust a God we do not understand. We trust that He loves us and that He is good, even through He does not answer our prayers in the way that we would like Him to. And the men and women of God who can do this truly have great faith.
Faith is not something we possess, but something that possesses us. Something that overtakes us in the darkness of night. True faith and trust in God can only be found in the night; when we cannot see except by faith. And that simple faith and trust is like a flash light. It does not light the entire room so we may see all and know all, or so that we may have an understanding of why things happen the way they do. No, faith in the night gives us only enough light to take the next step and then the next.
To not know where you are going nor where you will end up, but to continue to follow the Light we are given, will produce in us great faith and trust in God. We may not understand what God is doing, but we trust that it is for our eternal good and for the eternal good of His kingdom. Like a soldier who has learned to take orders from his superior. He may not understand the orders, but it is not his duty to reason why the orders were given, but just to obey them.
Years ago when I was only sixteen, I lost my mother and younger brother in an automobile accident. They were hit by a semi-truck in the fog of a cold March night. My younger brother David was killed instantly. My mother Ellen died on the way to the hospital.
Nothing on earth could have prepared me for this devastating tragedy. My whole world was changed in a moment. How could God make sense out of this seemingly senseless tragedy? People ask me even now how I was able to cope with this terrible loss, and I simply do not know how except that God was with me then just as He is with me now.
For a long time after the accident many people tried to give me answers as to "why" this happened. But none of the answers made sense to me. How could a God who loved me from before my birth let something like this happen, and to two of the most loving people I have ever known? Yes, I had questions, but no answer made sense to me.
Many years later I learned that true faith in God was proven not by answers given, but by trusting and loving God in spite of having no answers. God has never told me why they died, and I don't know that He ever will, but I know that He loves me. I no longer feel the need to search for answers, but cling to the one who knows me and loves me. It is enough for me to know that He knows why it happened and I trust Him to take care of all that concerns me.
I know that this may sound too simple, trust me...it is not. It took many years of struggle before I realized that no human answers would suffice and that I would receive no answer from heaven as yet. The very essence of my faith was birthed out of not knowing, but still continuing to trust Him.
Even now, in the dark valleys of life, when my ability to trust is again threatened, questions and fears rush to my mind. It is then that I feel His immense presence and the grip of fear is loosened by His great love. It is enough for me to trust in His great love. I know that in time when I am ready He will show me "why" things happen. But for now His love pulls me through. It is enough for me to trust Him and it is then that I feel new faith fill my heart.