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Wednesday, December 15, 2004 AD
Faith and Feeling
Recent entries at the HSC Squiblog and Barlow Farms touched on the same subject -- how we are to pray when things, from a natural, earthly, scientific, human standpoint seem hopeless...when the answer we'd like would be on the order of the miraculous...when, to put it bluntly, the cancer's really, really bad. Both R.C. and Jon come down on the side of praying with bold faith, which is of course the right side to come down on. But why do we find it so hard to do that?

I wonder if it's because we have a wrong understanding of the relationship between faith and emotions. Now this isn't something I've thought out particularly well, so I'm not sure I can even articulate it very well, but I'm just going to toss it out there and see if resonnates with anyone else: Sometimes I pray as if faith means having to feel that God will do thus and such. And I'm not sure that's entirely wrong. I should feel that God will be gracious and merciful, that He will act for the glory of His name and the good of His children. That should cheer and comfort us. It should spur us to heartfelt adoration of His goodness and mercy and kindness. But I don't think we need to work ourselves up into such confidence in the desired outcome that we book a nonrefundable plane ticket for Fred for next November when the doctor has told us Fred isn't likely to make it to February.

Maybe that's more the issue -- not faith and emotion, but faith and its object. We aren't to believe in a cure, we're to believe in the Lord Your Healer.

And speaking of emotion, we need to be careful not to look at this issue too coldly and clinically. It's not just a matter of academic curiosity, it's a matter of Earl and Matt and Antonia and every other "hard case" we know. So let's not be distracted from the real task at hand -- interceding with whatever amount of faith God has granted to us.

And a leper came to Jesus, beseeching Him and falling on his knees before Him, and saying, "If You are willing, You can make me clean."

Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, "I am willing; be cleansed."

Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. (Mark 1:40-42, NASB)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 12/15/2004 10:29:00 PM • Permalink

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