I am currently reading God in Slow Motion by Mike Nappa andthis particular chapter struck a deep tone with me. I’ll start with a quote from the chapter, “Tattered Faith,” where Mr. Nappa expounds on the story of John the Baptist sending a question via his disciples from his prison cell to Jesus:
Yes, sometimes Christ will work miracles in the lives of his followers–and that’s wonderful. But it doesn’t mean that you and I are entitled to any miracle, given upon our command. It is no sin to ask Christ for help, even for a miracle. Honestly, it’s a privilege of the family relationship we have with God. But it is sin to demand that God work miracles in your life as fulfillment of your current wish or expectation, and then to accuse him of faithlessness when he, in his infinite wisdom, chooses to lavish his love on you in ways that are different from your demand. …
The difference here is faith that’s centered on a miracle and faith that’s centered on the miracle worker. It’s an issue of intimacy with and subsequent expectations for Jesus Christ. …
Christ alone is the substance of our hope, the truth on which we rely. Hardship will invade our world and miracles may or may not come, but in every circumstance Jesus will always be Christ. That truth is enough to create faith that can withstand anything.
Mike Nappa so eloquently both confirmed what has been the roughest season of my faith and learning as well as convicted me of my lack of faith when I thought I was so strong.
I realize now how much I was that one who so sincerely hoped that God would heal me and I just called it faith. I had “faith” that God would heal me up through the surgery, and I was mad at God when I was writhing in pain because He didn’t fulfill my expectations. Nothing shakes your faith more than feeling like you need a miracle, feeling like you have complete faith, and then feeling like every prayer goes unanswered. In the end, it was as if God burned away all of my faith and left me with only one thing: Jesus is the living God, the Christ crucified and resurrected.
There are days I am not sure if my faith is strong, but Christ truly is the cornerstone of my faith. My house may be shattered down to its foundation, but at least I still have a firm foundation that Christ is Lord and He is coming again!