Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Putting Feet To Our Faith

“Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of faith produces patience.” James 1:3

I’ve been learning a lot about the meaning of this particular verse this past week. It’s been a very trying week with Johnny’s blood platelets down again. He had to be retested several times and those blood tests are something he does not look forward to. Here is a man who does not even like walking through hospital doors, so it takes every ounce of fortitude he has to get through all that is required in fighting this dreaded cursed enemy!

At least our battlefield we face the giants on, is the grounds of Mayo Clinic here in Jacksonville, Florida. They have the finest troops and the most advanced weapons, in a heavenly atmosphere that fosters hope and patience. We have found that the fastest road to patience is really putting feet to our faith.

Faith is something you get up every day and fight for. I try to communicate what I learn about it here in this blog, but though I might convey it with eloquent words, what I know I have learned through a knock down, bloody fight to never give up. God did not promise us easy. He just promises us to be there beside us always.

Patience is defined as refusing to be provoked or angered or losing self control. It is the ability to wait calmly for something desired. It is resolute endurance that results from firm sustained courage. This week a tear rolled down my face. Just out of the blue, driving Johnny to his blood test, I don’t know why. The test was on. The refining of my faith was in motion.

It was a roller coaster ride for a couple of days. One tear released a flood and I suddenly was battling emotions, doubt, fear and all the other “cancers of the soul.” On hindsight I was reminded again of the story of how silver is turned into a precious metal. It is put to the heat until all the trash is removed, and the silversmith can see his reflection in it. I think the producing of patience is the same principle, that gleans doubt, fear, confusion and anything that blocks the flow of faith through us. Patience comes after a good housecleaning of the soul. But first you must recognize its time to clean and then polish up with prayer! We need to keep polishing until we can see His relection in us.

I have found that faith is a verb not a noun. It’s important to keep a sense of humor too. We opened a gift box full of goodies today that included a book (Consider The Butterfly by Carol Lynn Pearson) a sweet soul had sent, and it had a blue butterfly on the front of the book. Inside was a poem that made me laugh because it reminded me of what we learned about faith this week. It’s what can be meant when God tells us to “arise and walk!”

Buttprints In The Sand

One night I had a wondrous dream,
One set of footprints there was seen,
The footprints of my precious Lord,
But mine were not along the shore.

But then some stranger prints appeared,
And I asked the Lord, What have we here?
Those prints are large and round and neat,
But Lord, they are too big for feet.

My child, He said in somber tones,
For miles I carried you along.
I challenged you to walk in faith,
But you refused and made me wait.

You disobeyed, you would not grow,
The walk of faith you would not know.
So I got tired, I got fed up,
And there I dropped you on your butt.

Because in life there comes a time,
When men must fight and men must climb,
When men must rise and men must stand,
Or leave their buttprints in the sand.

Johnny and I both got a good laugh reading it and considered it another little miracle along the way accompanied by a blue butterfly! We realized it brought a message to us reminding us to never let up praying and speaking the word, and leaving any room for the spirits of doubt and fear to get a foothold. It is so easy to get lazy in a comfort zone and slack up. But the sword of the spirit must be constantly wielded and guarding our hearts. Speaking God’s word is the best way to defend our faith.

So I wish you all a walk of faith today and encourage you to make prayer a priority to keep plugged into the power. If the room is dark you have to flick the switch to turn the light on. Prayer is the switch. Just have a conversation with God. Make sure to thank Him for all your blessings. Remember that there is nothing that can happen today and everyday that you and God can’t handle together.

Beautiful Blessings!



Scarlett Lillian said...

LOL when I first read this, I thought "Buttprints" was supposed to be "Blueprints" and that you had a major typo!

Elizabeth Bowdren Photography said...

Oh I love this message!! I got so much out of it. I particularly like the analogy of the silver being made... and I always remember you telling me of the butterfly and how it becomes strong in the cocoon..... that story has ALWAYS been a strength and inspiration as I "beat my wings" against the wall. ;) You are such an awesome story-teller.

Also I think it's amazing that a painting of mine I had started but haven't fully seen finished, is in my office. It is the mountains of Peru.... with one lone blue butterfly! I feel inspired to finish it now.... I think it's a sign.

Love you both....