Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Light of Faith

"Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness, but a lamp which guides our steps in the night and suffices for the journey."

Well, I'm thinking you should all recognize the quote by now. But I can't get enough of it.  There have been times when I have been living this whole singleness thing badly, but I would get upset with myself for the wrong things.  Why couldn't I trust enough to make all of the darkness go away?  If my troubles aren't righting themselves, am I doing something wrong, not praying enough, something like that? I would try to peer into the darkness and see if I could find my way out.

But that can't be faith.  Not real faith.  Because then there would be no answer for the parent who has lost a child, for the person who is facing a traumatic and life changing illness or injury, for the person with terminal illness, for the person who life was forever changed or ended by violent crime, for the couple who will never be able to have the children that they have always longed for, and for so many others.  In many ways, these trials can change over time, but they never go away. Some of us face trials that may some day come to an end, or may always be the case for the duration of this life.  I could meet someone tomorrow... Or never.  And real faith has to be able to address all the situations that everyone goes through, big or small, lasting a lifetime or a minute.

The faith that we need, that we seek, will not make all of our problems disappear, like the sun chasing away the shadows in the morning.  It is enough.  It shines enough of our way to let us see where to take the next step.  It does not let us see everything that's coming.  Which, if you think about it, is much easier to deal with rather than trying to look too far ahead and getting overwhelmed.  I know when I'm hiking, if I can see how far I have to go, I sometimes want to give up and turn around.  But if all I can see is the section that I'm currently on, I'm able to deal with it and often surprised because it's not as bad as I expected it to be.

Faith does not fix our problems.  It gives us enough help to find our way in the midst of them.


  1. I love it when you write like this!!

  2. For some reason this reminds me of a line from the chronicles of Narnia ... maybe Prince Caspian or Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Lucy asks Aslan what would have happened if she'd made a different choice, and Aslan tells her something like 'What would have happened? No-one is told that .....'

    Maybe your post makes me think of that because we have to get on with whatever situation we are in - thinking about what would have happened had we done this or that. I suppose there may be times when reflecting over our choices does help us, but it can also waste a lot of time and energy (at least for me) and is not really a faith-filled response. I am developing more of a habit of spending time thanking God for the many good things, and bringing him my struggles and suffering even when I don't understand them, and really don't know what to do with them. (not sure I have the hang of 'offering it up' although I do hope to get there at some point.

    Thanks for your reflection :)

  3. This is absolutely beautiful! You really have a gift for writing. I found myself lost in this post and that is a good thing. Oh you've given me so much to think about, I think I'm going to have to bookmark this one so I can come back and read it often!