How To Have Faith When The Answer is No

June 12, 2016

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Weakened Faith

Faith can be shaken by a traumatic experience. In the movie Miracle from Heaven, Christy Beam experiences such a challenge when her young daughter falls ill. Christy repeatedly tries to get a correct diagnosis but without success. The child’s decline calls for desperate measures, resulting in a trip across country to a specialist.

The Mother’s dedication and determination was impressive. If she hadn’t fought for her daughter, the outcome would have been fatal. I won’t spoil the movie by going into more detail.

Difficulties encountered by the mother

  • Criticism from others.
  • The hardship of family separation.
  • Struggles with anger and depression

Some people within the community offered unhelpful comments. Sometimes even the doctors gave the impression Christy was overreacting. But she refused to give up.

The great distance from Boston to Texas necessitated lengthy separations from family and friends. Christy and her daughter experienced homesickness during the extended process of diagnosis and treatment. The long absences created a hardship on the father and other children.

The family’s struggle raised a reoccurring question. “Why does God allow severe illness especially in children?” The movie does not give an answer. But it shows how one woman became a warrior in fighting her child’s life threatening illness.  Yes, it caused her to question her faith.

Suffering In Dark Moments

I related to the woman’s frustration. My son had severe problems with Mental illness as a child. Sometimes doors offering hope slammed shut. Like Christy my emotions rolled from peak to valley. My faith was tested and in my pain I questioned if God was present.

In John Ortberg’s book Soul Keeping, he describes the experience of suffering in life’s dark moments. “It is suffering in what feels like the silence of God.”

Christy could have given up. Isolated herself. Become bitter and resentful. She did not. Instead, she accepted help from a stranger who showed kindness and friendship. Her daughter’s simple faith remained strong. During the lengthy hospitalization, she refused to give up.

 “He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Mark 5:34 NIV

In my own struggle, I learned to quit worrying about the road ahead. Instead, I focused on the day to day.  Bible study and prayer were my lifeline. The unconditional love given to me through Christ became the way to love my son during difficult times.

If you have seen the movie, how did it affect you? I’d be interested in your take away from the movie.

Reference Soul Keeping, John Ortberg pg. 181

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