Strong Faith vs Pretend Faith

It was just a regular check up with my Maternal and Child Health nurse. My first at the centre after the many home visits due to the very traumatic way in which our boy Ethan entered the world. .My regular Nurse was on holidays so I hadn’t seen this nurse before. I was a little disappointed that my normal nurse was not there that day as she had a lovely manner and a beautiful way of making a new mum with many questions and concerns feel at peace. This nurse, however had the ability to make me feel quite defensive and on edge and completely incompetent as a mother. You know the type. It was her words however, that really got me going:. ` Your son has a problem with his head and neck and you will need to make an appointment at the Horsham hospital to see the physiotherapist. If this is a Torticollis, he will need several sessions with her to correct this and may even need surgery. I cannot believe you have not noticed anything wrong?‘ I was ushered out with a phone number in hand and a high level of somewhat angry and anxious thoughts going on in my head. I didn’t even know what a torticollis was but it didn’t matter. I was all ready to hear the physio say that my boy was fine and that that nurse knew nothing and was everything I thought she was: arrogant, stupid and clueless. And then there was this word HOWEVER….HOWEVER…. My appointment didn’t go quite the way I thought it would.

It is really easy to be strong and to have faith until reality is a far cry from your ideal. It is when everything is going in the wrong direction that `BE STRONG’ takes on its intended meaning.

I don’t know about you but I can be pretty presumptuous and outright arrogant and proud when it comes to being strong. I like to think I am stronger than I am. My `faith’ could have taken a battering that day but it didn’t. That would come later. I was so naive and ignorant, that a grumpy (insightful and perceptive) nurse wasn’t going to put a dint in my armour. I was yet to discover that what I had wasn’t faith at all…it was a whole of presumption and pride. Faith is deeper than positive thinking and shallow words. God knows this.

When he says `without faith it is impossible to please God’, it was never meant to be pretend faith. I am really good at waving a banner of pretend faith in front of God hoping he won’t notice it is not the real thing. The other ridiculous banner I wave in his face is the banner of `why faith-really-doesn’t -matter ‘. You know the one…the one that says `faith didn’t work last time so it can’t be important this time. God is bigger than that ‘. If faith pleases God and you can’t please God without it, then it must be a pretty big deal. A test of faith was never meant to help us get our garment of pretend faith on nor is it meant to show us up to be empty handed. A test of faith is put in our way to strengthen our faith and deepen our dependence on him. There are times when being naive and ignorant works well with faith and it can help us get through some sticky situations. This time however, that wasn’t going to work for me. I did genuinely believe in the goodness of God and that the physio would turn around and say Ethan was fine.

I was about to embark on a 9 month journey I had never been on before and it was not only going to test and strengthen my faith but help give me a greater understanding of what faith is, the journey of faith , the war of faith, the language of faith and help me see Jesus more.
Why didn’t Abraham have Isaac as soon as God promised?
Why didn’t the people of Israel walk straight into the promised land?
Why didn’t the Messiah come when he was promised?
Why wasn’t this journey into parenthood perfect and trouble-free?

No…. he didn’t instantly heal my son, nor was the nurse being stupid. Instead God took me the long way to show me himself. Sometimes faith grows stronger that way. Join me next week as I share the journey God took Steve and I as we dealt with the challenges of the faith journey God had us on with our boy Ethan.

Further reading: Read Exodus 15: 22-27 Why didn’t God lead the Israelites directly to Elim when they needed water?

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