Faith, prayer, and rediscovery in good times and bad

It cannot be seen, felt, smelled, or tasted. It is something that exists within most of us and affects our innermost core. What I am talking about is “Faith.” For me, faith is the true belief that we will be supported in good times and in times of acute pain and sorrow.

Having faith is like falling from a tree, knowing that there is a safety net below to catch you. When falling initially, there may be a feeling of fear or insecurity, and wondering if the net will hold. But, the true essence of faith is the knowledge and trust that something will stop the fall, thus casting self-doubt and questions aside.

Faith also surrounds and permeates you with feelings of complete contentment, happiness, trust, and inner peace, with all of the disparaging feelings swept away. It is the assurance that by leaving it in His hands, “All will be well in God’s time,” not in ours, and trust that “Thy will be done” is your best option.

For example, many years ago, my position where I was employed was eliminated. This was extremely difficult, not only on myself, but on my family as well. At age 52, I wondered if I would be able to find a comparable position, and still be able to care for my wife and children, two of whom were in college at the time (and a third who would be starting college that fall). I did a lot of praying and reaching out to the Lord and letting go, left it in His hands, and knew that everything would be all right. Lo and behold, a job offer came to me that was in a higher position, with more money, and I could continue to support my family. Please understand that prayers are not always answered in our timely fashion. This point will be covered further into the article.

Another example is when at a recent class reunion, I discussed with a friend in attendance about faith and the loss of a loved one. The family had lost a very young child; through this time of tremendous anguish, a pastor reached out and talked to them about faith in God. This belief began the healing process, a process that would continue to be with them. This faith in God has bound them together through all they have encountered.

Sometimes, at our lowest point, we may rediscover our faith and realize that it goes hand in hand with prayer. Through prayer, we speak directly with God. This may mean reciting prayers from a book, but more importantly it involves speaking from the heart, using your own words, and knowing that God is listening. These prayers provide you with the opportunity to ask for God’s help, laying the problems at God’s feet to solve and rectify while keeping in mind the perfection of God’s own timing.

So, for those of us that have taken a detour from faith, there may come a time in life where problems seem insurmountable, but the choice of the rediscovery of faith and prayer is always there. God is always waiting.

A special thank-you to the friend who shared with me the story of their personal journey of faith that inspired me to write this article.

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Dan Paul is a retired school administrator. His columns, which explore relationships, are published monthly in Lifestyles. Comments may be submitted at meaningfuldifferences.net.

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