As a cradle Catholic, I have always been taught that faith is a gift and added to prayer, you have a combination stronger than any issue life throws at you, no matter how bad. I have seen this for myself many many times in my life. Faith though, is not something that everyone comprehends. It is something that we all have within our reach, but some refuse it, some disavow it and some simply don't understand it. Faith in God is the belief in something you can't see or touch. It is the acceptance of a power much higher, much stronger and much more knowing than anything in creation. It is the understanding that all we must do is put everything in these unseen hands and know in our heart that all will be taken care of as it should be. It is the knowledge that ultimately....God is in control.
My crisis of faith usually happens (yes I have had more than one), when the world seems to spin out of control. I try desperately to fix, manipulate and yes....control things directing them in the way I think they should go. When they don't go that way, even when I pray, then my faith gets shaken...never lost....merely shaken. It is usually then when I realize that I am fighting God's will and His will...will always win out. Just because I think something should be a certain way, doesn't mean that is what is best for me or how it should be. God forbid (literally) that I always get what I think I need. I am sure my life would be inside out right now if I did. Instead, God redirects and in the end, things always turn out the way they should. However, sometimes it is the time it takes between the redirection and the actual results that cause the crisis. We are a world of instant gratification and God is on His own timetable. When the two collide, sometimes we humans use that as an excuse to give up on faith and turn away from God. It is basically the spiritual version of a childish temper tantrum and in the end, we suffer far more then God does.
I have of late been witness to a crisis of faith. Not my own, but anothers. I was assured that they had not given up on God, they were simply mad at God. While I am sure God's shoulders are more than strong enough to withstand the mad, I can't help but believe He must feel sorrow that there is so little faith as not to trust His plan. Granted, when the road is rough and it seems like more than just the other shoe keeps falling, it can feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. It is these times though that faith is so important. It is that faith that gets you through the tough times and when you get to the end of that tunnel, the light is more beautiful and brighter than you ever dreamed possible. And like it or not, it is the tough times that make us better, stronger and in many cases.....much more faithful.
Of late, I am much more mindful of my plan vs. God's plan and His time vs mine. If I try something and it doesn't work, I have learned to simply hand it over to Him and have faith in the knowledge that things will all work out. I am praying about more and asking for guidance instead of bulldozing ahead thinking I have all the answers. I am doing my best to worry less and exercise my faith more.
Yes, faith is a gift. Whether you ignore it, deny it or embrace it.....faith is always there for the taking. It is not forced on us, but gently offered. It is the root of hope, the path to grace and the core of every prayer ever whispered. It is the knowledge that our hearts are heard and understood and that we are never alone even in our toughest times because.......God is always there beside us.
So there you have it. Faith. Are you the wheat or are you the chaff?