The phone call came at 5:00 am. The voice on the other end said that my son was being arrested. The details were hazy and all I really heard was the word “arrested”. I felt the joy of living depart from me and I sat there in utter disbelief. This had to be some mistake. What had happened? Could I get through this and still keep my sanity? Why did God allow this to happen? Will my faith be strong enough to take me day by day through this experience?
Faith. It is defined by the Oxford American Dictionary as “reliance or trust in a person or thing.” Our whole belief system focuses on God and His love for us. His son, Jesus, is the intercessory for mankind. He is our “go between” with God and He has provided a way to come to the Father. II Corinthians 5:7 states “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” This faith does not make us perfect or without sin. It allows Christ to bring us into the presence of the Father, redeemed.
Okay, I understand that. Or at least I think I do. But do I have enough faith to get through this “mess” one day at a time? I don’t even know where to go next and my familiarity with the judicial system is nil. Well, I guess I will have to take this one step at a time. Since I don’t have any direction now, I have to put matters into God’s hands.
The real problem with having faith is the mental frame of mind. Logically I want to have a path set before me so that I know exactly where I am going next. But life isn’t like that. Problems come up that I have no clue how to solve and I either worry and fret about what to do or, usually after much mental struggling, I turn them over to God. Complete trust in God saves me all the anguish of not knowing what to do.
But how can something like the arrest of my son be in God’s will? Certainly it didn’t seem like anything good could come out of this. However, God did open doors that I never expected. Usually these doors opened just when it seemed like my back was up against the wall. I certainly wanted to have this done and over with. But justice and problems with the law aren’t resolved overnight. Waiting for a court date, deciding if an attorney was needed, or even wondering where the money would come from if things weren’t resolved quickly was the reality that had to be dealt with. It was overwhelming but God did take us one step at a time.
The problem was eventually cleared up and the nightmare is in the past. There had been a misunderstanding that caused all the rocks to fall down the mountain. Time and time again we saw God’s hand in the matter. My son got his life right with God and found a good Bible believing church to attend. He was amazed at the number of times that God came through at the last minute. And others who knew what he was going through saw the same thing. More than one person had their faith strengthened through this one experience. That included me, too.
Testing is part of faith. We can’t have faith without having some testing or trials along the way. After all if we never have any obstacles to overcome, how do we really know that our faith is real? When I think of testing in the Bible I think of two examples immediately. First of all I think of Job and the way that he was tested. There was no real problem in the relationship between God and Job, but he was allowed to go through the problems so that his life could bring glory to God. Satan wanted Job to fail but Job stayed true to God. Secondly, I think of the prodigal son who felt he knew everything and left his father’s house with his inheritance. By taking control of his life, he wanted to try to make it on his own. But after some pleasurable months, the reality sunk in. He had reached “rock bottom” and had nowhere else to go. He returned to his father and was accepted with open arms. The picture is just like our Heavenly Father who wants us to trust Him and will be there for us each step of the way. He is always there; I am the one who moves away from Him. Trust eliminates the fear and puts God in control. What more do I need?