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Faith (Rough Ride)

04 Feb

Faith is hard to define and, I think, becomes evident not by what we say but how we live. Our life demonstrates what we really believe in.

I see that Justin (who has chosen FAITH as his one-little-word for 2016) has added the modifier “blind” to it. For me, faith is rarely completely “blind” in that buried somewhere in my history is an experience or conviction that what I put my trust in is trustworthy. And yet another way to look at it is that faith is always blind to a degree. That’s what makes it faith.

I have found that my spiritual faith in a God who is all good and all powerful is tested when bad things happen to me and those I love. A TV speaker I enjoy (Dr. Charles Price) talked about this very thing last Sunday. He pointed out that in  the story of Martha, Mary and Lazarus, Jesus delayed coming to their home until Lazarus, his friend, had died. How uncaring—how bad—that looked. Yet this apparently callus response worked all kinds of good in the lives of Mary, Martha, and the onlookers. God was in the temporarily bad situation working something good.

As Dr. Price put it, “There are the physical visible events that we see, and there are the spiritual events that we do not see, that are running parallel. We live in the first of these two but need eyes for the second, the realities that we cannot see that God is working out. There was more going on in this story than the health and life of Lazarus.” (Read the story in John 11:1-44; listen to Dr. Price’s talk: “I Am the Resurrection of the Life”.)

And, I would submit, there is also more going on in our lives than just the physical realities we experience each day. I believe that God is in all of them and works out all of these things for our eventual good.

This is the bottom line of my faith, expressed in Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

However, in my human state, and from my earthly vantage point, I still feel stretched when circumstances aren’t going well. My faith is challenged. At such times I often discover that what I say I trust in I don’t really, at least not to the extent that I thought I did. Otherwise, why would I be so anxious?

Image: Skeeze / pixabay.com

Image: Skeeze / pixabay.com

Rough Ride

“You have covered yourself with a cloud
That prayer should not pass through” – Lamentations 3:44.

My need is the rodeo’s
pitching bull.
With one hand I clutch
the saddle horn of Your word
while the other is raised
in pleading.

My faith is the 747
on automatic pilot
buffeted by circumstances
whiplashed and tossed
by the turbulence.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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Join us each week at Spiritual Journey Thursday

Join us each week at Spiritual Journey Thursday

This post is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday hosted each week by Holly Mueller at her blog Reading, Teaching, Learning.

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12 responses to “Faith (Rough Ride)

  1. Laurel

    February 4, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Thanks Violet. This made me think of a Martha poem I’d written a few years ago — went back to see how much it reflected faith themes. It did, so here it is as a response.

    Martha

    For days I expected
    to hear that scrape
    sandals make on the gravel path
    coming up to the house.
    After Lazarus was dead
    it didn’t matter.
    Sounds were muffled
    the way the grave
    clothes muffled his death.

    Jesus came
    after I had absolved him –
    with a back handed faith.
    “If you had been here…”
    I managed.

    And even now I know
    (God would listen
    to whatever He wants)
    I wanted healing.
    He wants resurrection.

    © 2009 Laurel Archer

    Liked by 2 people

     
    • Violet Nesdoly

      February 4, 2016 at 10:00 am

      It’s perfect, Laurel. Thanks for sharing it. What a great ending! Now to carry on through the shadowlands.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  2. MaryHill

    February 4, 2016 at 9:08 am

    We thought along the same vein today. Blind faith is also believing that despite how things seem physically there are spiritual dimensions at work that we don’t see. Thanks for sharing. I really loved the poem. We are instructed to pray in faith, and I think that is a lot like the bull ride you described. We are bucked and challenged by circumstances, but we keep our hands: one on the a sure foundation and the other up praying and sometimes praising. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

     
    • Violet Nesdoly

      February 4, 2016 at 10:02 am

      Thanks, MaryHill. I like your interpretation of “blind faith” being the confidence that “there are spiritual dimensions at work that we don’t see.”

      Liked by 1 person

       
  3. bobbietaylor

    February 4, 2016 at 11:22 am

    You’ve done it again! Complementary action-packed stanzas reveal a faith that holds on, as it is led on its not-always smooth way. I love Dr. Price’s image of the parallel-running seen/unseen events, necessitating different sets of eyes. Given all the struggles I had with (blind) Faith, I very much like how you reconciled that testy modifier. Every time I got into the unseeing aspect, my faith turned to trust. God bless you for providing another vantage point!

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Violet Nesdoly

      February 4, 2016 at 12:03 pm

      Thank you, Bobbie. I did struggle with “blind” but then began to see that faith is both blind and seeing. During the week I heard the song “It is well with my soul” somewhere (or maybe it just played in my head), and the words jumped out at me: “And God, haste the day when my faith shall be sight / The clouds be rolled back like a scroll…” Though I dislike the idea of “blind” faith as meaning faith in something one has no reason for trusting in and so it’s a sort of unthought-through faith, the very word “faith” implies some element of the unseen and unknown.

      Like

       
  4. margaretsmn

    February 4, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    “whiplashed and tossed by the turbulence” describes so well how adversity can rock our faith. Sometimes we forget to release control and allow God to be the pilot.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Violet Nesdoly

      February 4, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      Margaret, as someone who hasn’t had a lot of adversity, I know I need to grow in this area. (But I sure don’t enjoy it when it’s happening!)

      Like

       
  5. hollymueller

    February 6, 2016 at 6:24 am

    What an awesome image to equate with the role faith plays in our lives! I love the “controversy” the parenthetical “blind” has caused. I wish I had address as eloquently as so many of you have instead of just eliminating it because I didn’t like it. 😉 “There was more going on in this story…” Yes, indeed!

    Like

     
    • hollymueller

      February 6, 2016 at 6:25 am

      I love your poem, too! Favorite lines:
      “With one hand I clutch
      the saddle horn of Your word
      while the other is raised
      in pleading.”

      Like

       
  6. cvarsalona

    February 7, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Violet, how ingenious to take the bull by the horn photo and create a poem on faith. The strong verbs clutching and raised (in pleading) are integral to what I see myself doing at times of stress when turbulence shakes my faith but the Lord does carry us through the storms.

    Last night the priest commented on the story of the miracle of the catch. Peter was exhausted after a day of fishing and coming up with not much when Jesus asked him to go back out. Instead of making an excuse he did just what was asked and was well rewarded. Faith!

    Like

     
  7. dorireads

    February 7, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    A beautiful, visceral poem, Violet. Faith sometimes requires that kind of wrestling.

    Like

     

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