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Friday, May 17, 2013

A Matter Of Faith


There is a story about a woman watching a butterfly struggle out of a cocoon. 

She decided to help it by opening up the cocoon herself, making it easier for the butterfly to break free.  The problem was that the butterfly failed to develop sufficient strength in its wings and legs, so it died.  The woman only tried to help, to ease the struggle of the butterfly, but in the end, the butterfly died.  The butterfly needed the struggle in order to live.  It was in that very struggle that made that butterfly strong enough to survive.

Paraphrasing a statement from the Bible: “. . . if you had Faith the size of a mustard seed, you could move a mountain.” 

Hmmm . . . I’m thinking a front-end loader at the least.

When I was little, my brother’s and my bedroom was at one end of the hallway and my parents’ bedroom at the other.  I remember many, many times peeking into their room and seeing my dad on his knees at the side of the bed.  Eyes shut.  Hands folded.  Silent.  And every night.  I was no more than six or seven years old, but that image was burned into my memory and has stayed with me for over fifty years.

I know my conversations with my dad revealed to me that he was a man of great Faith.  Faith in God.  Faith in humanity.  Faith in his family.  Faith in himself.  Don’t know if that qualifies as a mustard seed or a front-end loader or perhaps a steam shovel, but I believe he had Faith.

There is another story from the Bible that I like.  It’s the story of the sick woman who felt that if she was near enough to the shadow of Jesus, and if His shadow passed over her, she would be healed.

Wow!  That’s what I call a steam shovel!  Now that’s Faith!  Can’t say I have that much Faith.  Can’t say that I have that big of Faith.

There have been many times in my life when my Faith has been shaken.  Tested.  Times in my life when I really questioned my own Faith in God.  In humanity.  In myself.

Haven’t we all? I don’t think I’m unique in this regard, but I could be wrong.

“. . . though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil . . .”

Because?

Certainly not because I’m overly tough.  Certainly not because I’m overly brave.  And honestly, I don’t know how to drive a front-end loader.

Like the butterfly, we struggle.  Each of us.  Sometimes we share that struggle with others.  Sometimes we are silent and go on about our business, our lives as if there is no struggle.  But we do struggle.  Not necessarily all the time.  Not necessarily continuously.  But there are times when . . .

And I contend that in those struggles, we develop Faith.  Weak and small at first.  Tentative.  A wisp of a seedling.  And sometimes we lose Faith as quickly as it comes.  Gone.  No trace of it having existed at all.  We start over once again.  An opportunity presents itself where we, our Faith, takes gentle root.

There are other times, the wisp of a seedling is planted in firm, rich soil.  There are caretakers making sure that wisp is safe, protected.  Taking care that when damaged, it is repaired.  And our Faith grows.  Strong and true and straight.

I wrote in a post that Storms pass.  Night brings day.  Rain stops and gives way to a Rainbow. 

Through our own struggle, we develop the wings to fly and the legs to stand.  In our own struggle, we develop our own Faith.  Whether it is a mustard seed or a front-end loader, it doesn’t matter.  Because Faith can, and will, grow.  And when it does, it is a thing of beauty- for ourselves and for others.  Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

2 comments:

  1. Hi Joseph - found you by way of LinkedIn. I like your site -- a lot of interesting articles and insights.

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  2. Thank you, Pat for connecting with me on Linked In and for the nice comment on my blog. I appreciate it.

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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe