A Changing Faith
Wednesday, February 01, 2017
“Trust changes a person's outlook,” observes hospital Chaplain Marti Jones. “If you're a trusting person, you are likely more positive. When you know that God cares for you, you are able to rely on the fact that God is leading, even when you don't understand why bad things happen to you or someone you love.
“One of the ministries that I carry on in the hospital is providing spiritual nurture not only for our patients but also for our staff. We have a ministry called People of the Word—POW. Weekly we study the Bible with individuals who want to come together and explore it. That's how I met Barbara.”
Barbara will never forget how studying the Bible helped her find a solid trust in God that helped change her entire life.
“The first time I met Marti,” Barbara recalls, “I was at a really low time in my life. My husband of thirty-five years had left me, so naturally I was devastated. Then a few months later my mom—full of good health—died suddenly. She had a massive stroke. I felt as if I had nothing left, so I turned to God.
“Because we're human,” she acknowledges, “it's hard to trust people. But I found that if we trust God fully and hand him all our cares, he gives us peace that truly is beyond our understanding. He provides us the support and the love that we need to make it on a day-by-day, and sometimes hour-by-hour, basis. When your husband leaves you, you feel kind of worthless. Some people in this circumstance reach out to the bottle or to drugs. Others get on the phone and talk to their friends. But I felt full trust in the Lord, because he'll never leave me—and I knew that. I joined the Bible study that Marti was teaching, and since then I've grown closer to the Lord.”
Turning to God at crisis points is definitely not unusual. Most people don't call upon their faith or realize their inner strength until they're really faced with a critical life event, such as a diagnosis of cancer or some other life-threatening illness. So how can faith help you get through the hard times?
Dr. David Biebel, author of the book If God Is So Good, Why Do I Hurt So Bad? describes the importance of viewing adversity with the eyes of trust:
One morning not long after my son, Jonathan, had died, I was called to the scene of a fire where six children and their mother had died. Three of the children had been in the children's choir of the church I was pastoring at that time. After walking among the rubble and viewing the charred remains, my vision of realities was sharpened. The starkly grotesque scene of destruction confronted me with the frailty of temporal life and the true significance of the eternal.
Thankfully, the eternal—the life that emanates from God—is bigger, able to swallow up the temporal—what we usually regard as “life”--so that “what is mortal may be swallowed up by life” (see 2 Cor. 5:4). In the mind of God, there is only one reality, his reality – whether it is seen from our side and labeled “mortal” or from his side and called “life.” At all times, by faith we live and move and have our being in him, who is the source of life. Even when it seems like he is not there, he is with us, so we need not be afraid. Doubt whispers, “He is nowhere.” Trust counters, “He is now here!”
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God!