Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Simple Faith

The recent tragic events in Arizona have made me take a step back to reflect on how “Faith” has gotten me through many rough times in my life. Even when I turned on the Lord, considered myself Agnostic, I still had faith in something out there watching over me.

Webster’s defines “Agnostic” as A Person who holds the view that any ultimate reality is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly: one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a God.

Generally speaking, “An Agnostic does not deny the existence of God and heaven but holds that one cannot know for certain whether or not they exist.” ~ Word History

After the death of my brother, I did turn on the Lord. I questioned who he was and if he was in fact my Savior, how could he let this happen to my family? Fortunately, with my religious background, I did not become an Atheist, or one who completely turned and did not believe there was a God in Heaven.

This Agnostic view I took was not me saying there was NO God, but a view by a person who had LOST HIS faith and questioned whether there was an existence of a God and Savior.

Sunday’s sermon (1/9/11) was based on Mark 5: 21 – 34 – “A Simple Faith”.

The passage is a long one, but verse 34 states:
“He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
A young woman who had been suffering an ailment for 12 years is healed by barely touching the garment of Jesus Christ. Nothing more than her faith in the healing powers of Jesus Christ was needed to be healed.

When tragedy hits close to home, we tend to have our faith shaken, sometimes to the core of who we are. When we are not on solid ground, we tend to lose our faith very easily and sometimes quickly. My faith leading up to and during this time was not on solid ground. I allowed many things to negatively influence my life up to this point; I had built my faith on sand and not on solid rock.
Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
I read the following Passage I found online while researching articles related to losing faith:
“There are times in a Christian’s life, maybe because of hardships or disappointments that causes us to question God. We may ask God why did he allow this or that to happen. “Why God did you not help me when I needed it, or someone else needed it?” Some may lose faith so much that they allow Satan’s influence on the world to cause them to even doubt if God is really there.” ~ ttp://

Life itself is based on Faith. Even an Atheist has to have faith that when they go to sleep the previous night, that they will wake the following morning and the world will not have ended. The basis of our relationship with the Lord is that of Faith. The faith that he exists, that he sent his only begotten son Jesus Christ to die on the Cross to SAVE us, faith that he loves each and every one of us.
I believe in God as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." ~ C.S. Lewis

I wrote before that I saw this quote many times in the past several months, but never understood or “heard” its meaning. To me, this quote tells me our relationship with the Lord is based on Faith for what we cannot see as well as what we can see. Although we have never seen the Lord, his work is all around us, in nature, in people and in life. All we have to do is open our eyes, our hearts and our soul to him.

Throughout my life and career, I have experienced things many people go through their lives never experiencing. I have become all too familiar with tragedy, death and sorrow; however, I have also had many occasions to come in contact with happiness, joy and life. I have seen both the good in people as well as seeing the unimaginable. Other than the wonderful birth of my children, I have been present at the beginning of life to being given the opportunity at making the last attempts to keep the life from slipping from a person.

I recently posted on my Facebook status that I was talking with a friend how with all I have seen and experienced that it’s surprising “I haven’t lost it over the years”. This is true not just with the personal issues I have faced, but with the work related issues I have dealt with.

At the age of 23, within the first six months of my career, I stopped a car in the Oakland Hills that carried the body of a 16-year-old girl in the trunk. Fortunately, I had literally made this stop minutes before she was going to be killed and dumped into the woods. The things I later learned about what her assailant had done to her prior to placing her in the trunk of her own car made me sick to my stomach.

Within the same six months, I attended my first of many funerals for a slain Police Officer. The only difference was I had spent six months the year before with Oakland Police Officer Keith Konapaseck in the Police Academy. The first time you hear Amazing Grace on the bagpipes at a fellow Officer and friend’s funeral is one you will never forget.

After Keith’s death, as a 23-year-old rookie cop, I lost it mentally. I made stupid mistakes at work that put myself in danger, put my co-workers in danger and put the citizen’s I was tasked to protect in danger. Fortunately, I had several supervisors who saw my abilities and had the “Faith” in me to become a good officer and send me to mandatory counseling.

These are just two examples of what I have experienced the past 16 ½ years in Law Enforcement. Even with my experiences, if I did not have faith in the Lord, I do not think I could have continued to do my job without “losing” it. Everyday I put my life into his hands and went out doing my job knowing that I did not want to fall, but if I did, it was his plan and he would provide for my family. I knew that even though I had made mistakes, he still loved me.

After David died, I did lose my faith because I was not on solid ground and I allowed Satan to influence my life even more than he already had. I did not care what happened to me. Once you lose your faith, or your faith is shaken, it takes a lot to regain that faith, especially if you are not living God’s plan and by the teachings of Jesus Christ.

My cousin Andy told me last month, I needed to humble myself, give up my pride, and seek forgiveness from the Lord. My pride cost me a lot over the years and took me on a path I should not have gone on. Since humbling myself and giving up my pride, I have opened my heart and found the path the Lord was trying to get me back on all of these years. I have truly seen the blessings bestowed on me in the last month and a half because of my Faith. As I have opened my eyes to the Lord, I look back and see the blessings that have always been there.

Life is full of bad days;
FAITH in the Lord says he will provide you with many good days.

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