Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as “…confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
Generally this is what Christians use to define the word “faith.” They have faith that everything will be okay, or faith that their loved ones will be healed. But often, Christians do not read on from that verse. The author continues by listing names of biblical figures who lived by faith, describes their situations, and then says in verse 13, “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.”
This can be a hard pill to swallow for those who think of God as their personal genie.
As a special needs mom, I often hear well-meaning people say, “just have faith that your son will be healed.” The thing is that I do have faith that my son will be healed. Do I believe it will be in this lifetime? I honestly don’t know. Does my uncertainty of God’s timeline mean that I don’t have faith? Absolutely not. I do have faith that God will do as He has promised. But it is because He is the one who has promised it. My faith has nothing to do with a timeline. It is about the one who IS the timeline. The one who IS the Alpha and the Omega. The one who IS.
Faith doesn’t mean that every time I pray for something I will see it happen right in front of my very eyes. Do I believe in instant, miraculous healing? Absolutely. Often God gives me a word of knowledge for healing in the middle of a worship service, I speak what He has told me, the church prays for that individual, and then they report they don’t feel anymore pain, or they can hear again. I’ve seen people healed. I’ve seen the tears when they realize they are able to move without pain again. And as the person God uses to deliver that healing word, I’d be an idiot to not believe in God’s instant healing.
But faith isn’t about believing in a thing God can do. It’s about believing in the One who can do.
When my son was first diagnosed with F.I.R.E.S. (Febrile Infection Related Epilepsy Syndrome), he was in and out of several medically induced comas fighting for his life. We didn’t know if he was going to live or die. But God spoke to me during that time about Job and said, “Desirae, in the middle of all of this, there was one thing that Satan could not take from Job because he didn’t have the right to take it. It was Job’s to keep or give away. That one thing was his trust in me.”
Several days after that encounter my husband and I were told that if our son continued having so many seizures, he would either die, or live in a vegetable state for the rest of his life. At that moment I realized that it was time for me to decide if I was going to continue trusting God, or give away my trust in Him. I told God, “If he lives, I will trust you. And if he dies, I will still trust in you. No matter what happens, I will trust in you.”
It has now been two years since my son’s diagnosis. Often it seems that we’ve experienced more disappointments than progress. But choosing to have faith in God has enabled me to live these past two years with grace and peace. Faith has given me the ability to find joy, even while I’m living out what some parents would consider their worst nightmare.
Faith in God doesn’t mean that everything will be okay. Sometimes things just aren’t okay. Faith in God means trusting Him no matter the outcome. It means believing His promises, even without seeing them fulfilled. It means that whether my child lives or dies, God is still God. God is still healing. God is still love. And God is still good.