Sunday, August 14, 2011

Crisis of Faith

Since I got sick, I have suffered such a crisis of faith. The feeling of being abandoned by God. The feeling of spiritual emptiness. Oddly enough, I know that some of it was caused by the medicine I had to take, and since being on a lower dosage has helped, I have proof of the side effects.

At any rate, I was really struggling to cling to my faith the past several weeks. This morning I had the energy to search the internet for examples of others going through the same thing. If you google "crisis of faith," and scan the articles and blogs, you would be amazed at what you find. Apparently, even Mother Theresa struggled (for FIFTY years!) with this. Personally, not being Catholic, I can't relate to what Mother Theresa felt, but being Christian, with my whole belief being in salvation through the blood of Jesus alone, I can relate to a sermon I found.

I can truly say that this sermon blessed me this morning:  Lenten Series - The Seven Last Words My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?  I feel it was just the thing I needed. Bless the author! Even if you are not having a crisis of faith, I suggest you go over and check it out because it's such a reminder of what faith is.

The first thing that struck me is that I am not alone. I'm not the only Christian to be tested. Christ himself was tested! Somehow, I had forgotten all about how the Lord cried out from the cross about being forsaken. Being fully human, Jesus was able to feel what we feel and, at that time, he felt given up on. So who am I to feel different?

The second thing that struck me is that all this time, I have been focused on the darkness of my situation - or the Good Friday - when I was ignoring the hope and glory of the light - or Easter. (The author's words are so powerful: "Those were not his last words from the cross." Amen! Jesus' last words were that it was finished.

So, here and now, I may have to go through this human pain and suffering (and it won't be easy; in fact, it may get worse), but one day, when I leave this world, I get to go Home and be with Jesus. Maybe even while I am still here, I will be happy again, but I'm not supposed to be living for this "life." It is for my life in Heaven that I am waiting for.

While I was feeling sorry for myself, I had forgotten about all the other suffering people who have it as bad or worse than me. Think of the little starving babies you see who live in famine, people born into a living hell of war or disease; people who have never eaten like I have or lived in decent shelter. I had not thought of the absolute luxuries I once enjoyed while so many millions of people suffered every day of their lives.

So, this day, I am thankful for this crisis. This struggle I am going through is going to keep me praying and holding on with both hands to my faith and hope for what eternity has in store for me.