It tends to show up the strongest when we are at our lowest point.
There is an old saying that “there are no atheists in foxholes.” This refers to the fact that in times of high stress (such as war) everyone tends to cry out to God regardless of what they claim to believe.
The fact is we all tend to be self-reliant and want to handle things on our own if we can. However, in certain situations, that is just not possible.
I got the idea for this post after reading Shelly Sorem’s blog, Deeply Rooted In Him. In the post “Ice Bucket Challenge and A Man of Faith,” she talks about a friend who battled ALS. This friend was incredibly inspiring as his faith seemed to grow even as his body failed him.
As I read this post this morning I could relate to this experience.
I have watched it myself over the last year and a half as my Dad battled cancer.
It seems that the weaker he got physically, the stronger his faith grew.
We made it to countless doctor’s appointments, visits to the hospital, and ultimately in-home hospice care.
At each of these stops along the journey, Dad made sure to let people know that he was in God’s hands and that he wasn’t afraid of what the future held. He was a Christian his whole life, but when his physical strength decreased, his faith in the Lord blossomed.
I think for many of us, the same thing can happen.
When control is wrenched from our hands we usually have no where else to turn but to God. It is unfortunate that it has to be this way, but I know that I am a stubborn, slow learner sometimes.
We may not be stricken with a terminal illness for this to occur. Sometimes it is
- the loss of a job
- a financial emergency
- a divorce
- the death of a loved one.
I have found in my life that I am closest to God when things are most turbulent in my life. Sometimes there are storms that we face that drive us to our knees as we cry out to Jesus. Perhaps you have noticed this too.
It is there that I fully rely on God. I seek solace in the word of Romans 8:28, And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
I can’t understand with my heart why God didn’t heal my Dad. It hurts and I miss him tremendously. I know that the grieving process will take time.
However, with my head I can see that his illness impacted many people and furthered the kingdom of God. There were people praying for him from Georgia to Colorado to Michigan to Texas. I hope that some of you were praying from around the world. There were doctors and nurses who marveled at the family support and love that we showered him with.
There was a funeral service where the gospel of Christ was preached, and the legacy of a life well lived was remembered.
I know that one day in eternity, we will see the impact of Dad’s increasing faith and the countless people who his life and ultimately his death impacted.
Consider the chorus of the song “His Strength Is Perfect” by Steven Curtis Chapman:
His strength is perfect when our strength is gone
He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on
Raised in His power, the weak become strong
His strength is perfect, His strength is perfect
Remember this when you feel weak: There is one who will walk alongside you, no matter what your struggle is, and give you the strength to do the work he has called you to do. Never lose heart; never lose hope; never lose faith.
One day you will see those you have impacted and what a glorious day it will be!