When Faith Gets Messy

Some think I’m slightly insane. After reading the following, you may agree, and I’m perfectly okay with that.

Yesterday we spent some time with our nearest and dearest friends, Nate and Dawniel. They just lost their brother-in-law, a local police officer named Justin, while he was on duty. The entire town has quickly rallied to support his widow, Danielle, and their three young sons, all under age 6. We sat with our closest friends, and we talked, and we shared, and we cried. It was gut wrenching. Nate is an officer himself, and he had to deliver the news to his newly widowed sister. She crumpled into his arms as he told her, and then her five-year-old son walked into the room. She grabbed him and told him how much his Mommy and Daddy loved him, but that Daddy would not be home again. Ever.

As I write, my friend Nate is on his way to help his nephew learn to ride his bike, because, before he died, his Dad told him he would do that today. It’s all nearly too much to handle. I can’t say that I understand this one. I don’t know why God took this young man home, leaving a family behind that needed him so dearly. Life is fragile, and sometimes, life doesn’t make sense.

I like having answers. I like knowing what’s going on. I like feeling as if I can figure everything out if I just ponder long enough. But I have a feeling this is one of those moments that may never make sense, at least not in this life. I’d prefer to write about this once it’s over, when I could say I’ve figured it all out. I could give you a reason for such a painful loss. But life and faith are not always that neat and clean. Sometimes faith gets messy.

But in moments like this, when emotions run deep and logic has no bearing, I find that I truly begin to appreciate faith on a much deeper level. It’s the backbone of Christianity. We must BELIEVE, and to believe in a story as crazy as Jesus’ story, faith is not optional. Thomas had the privilege of seeing and touching the risen Savior. We have no such privilege, so we must have faith.

And I do have faith. I have faith that Jesus is the son of God. I believe in the virgin birth. I believe in the resurrection. I believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. I believe God created all things. I also believe God’s Word. I believe it is Truth. Some may dub me crazy. Some would call me weak-minded. But if that were true, I’d undoubtedly be losing it in this circumstance. Amazingly, I’m not, and neither are my friends, nor this new widow. Why? Because we all believe. We all have faith. We believe God is in control. We believe He knows exactly what’s going on. We believe He will protect and provide miraculously for this family in the days, months, and years to come. We believe God will prove Himself faithful, because He’s never proven Himself to be anything less.

Some would think us crazy for not being crazy.

They think we should all be losing it today.

But we aren’t.

Because we believe.

Do you?

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

–1 Corinthians 1:18

Read the follow up to this post:
How Important Are Relationships? a tale of two funerals

17 Replies to “When Faith Gets Messy”

  1. Have not had to walk through a season like this before. Thankful for the great example of those who do so with Christ as their guide. I am praying for your friends.

  2. Good job Darren. What timing. I am going out this afternoon to clean up your dad’s grave
    marker and get it ready for Memorial Day and I was just questioning God as to why. I guess I needed that blog right now!

  3. Appreciate reading your post, Darren. May the Heavenly Father visit this family with His great mercy and grace.

  4. I guess sometimes we don’t even know the trust and faith we have until it is all we have. And in times like these we need all we can get – and just like always He once again strengthens us to hold on.

  5. Pingback: How Important Are Relationships: a tale of two funerals « DiscipleshipInk

  6. I’m sitting here amazed by God…and by you. You should write a book. I miss your sarcastic self and your precious wife! Love you guys!

  7. Pingback: Outrageous Faith « L.E.G.A.C.Y.

  8. I hope you will let someone who doesn’t agree with you leave a short comment as food for thought. The heart of your thesis seems to be that by maintaining (or even strengthening) your faith through trials and affliction, it serves as evidence / proof that your faith is real / strong. I suppose it is supposed to buttress the object of your faith as well. In your own words, “Some would call me weak-minded. But if that were true, I’d undoubtedly be losing it in this circumstance. Amazingly, I’m not, and neither are my friends, nor this new widow. Why? Because we all believe.” Surely you realize that being resolute in one’s own beliefs is not always a virtue? How do we know the difference between fanatics / dogmatics / fundamentalists and reasonable people? I would argue that the latter are willing to reconsider their beliefs in the light of new evidence. To re-evaluate their allegiances and ideological presuppositions when reality challenges them. Is it a virtue to be closed off to a change of heart and mind? What sort of good god would want its followers to believe things that do not make sense, that are unreasonable, that have no evidence to support them whatsoever? (i.e., that there is a divine plan and everything that happens is part of that plan) … food for thought, hope you allow me to participate in this conversation.

    • I COMPLETELY agree with you! Faith in and of itself is not “logical” nor do I believe that God intends it to be logical. God desires that we have faith. He doesn’t want us to line up all the religions and see which one is most logical, he wants us to believe. The story of Jesus isn’t logical…a virgin birth, a sinless life, a resurrection…it’s not logical by man’s standards at all! In fact, the Bible itself call the story “foolish” in 1 Corinthians 1. If God wanted us to go the logical route, He would have sent Jesus in a manner that would have made it easy for everyone to believe. Of course, this is all based on my Christian presuppositions that the story is actually true. But then, now we’re back to my faith, I suppose. 🙂 But in the end, my faith gives me peace during circumstances that would normally be very un-peaceful. And I’m thankful for that. Also, my faith, at least to me, is no longer illogical, because I’ve proven God over and over and over again. What once was illogical has now become logical, because I’ve seen God’s hand at work in the midst of impossible situations so many times. In fact, I’ve seen God’s hand at work so many times that it would now be illogical NOT to believe! So what might seem illogical to one, is completely logical to another.

      • I appreciate your candor. My intent is not to convince you otherwise (seriously) but to just point out that we shouldn’t always celebrate faith if it looks identical to blind adherence and devotion. I am glad you have something to give you peace, and that’s one of the best things about religion — the ability to feel secure in a world whose whims are otherwise stochastic.

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