Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: FAITH (strong, confident belief in God) (02/26/15)
TITLE: The splendor of faith
By Caleb Cheong
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The darkest twenty five days of my life has helped me value my faith more than before. As John puts it, the disciples believed in Jesus more. Some of you are aware that my wife had had a stroke since 1 December last year, and didn't regain consciousness till 26 December. During this period, I have learned to focus on God, the ultimate healer, and some signs of life like her heartbeat, breathing and blood pressure. There was enormous pressure on me to update relatives and friends about her conditions. So to speak, they were hungry for news- I wished I could say: Luanne rose up from the ICU bed just like Lazarus! That would put an end to all queries. By faith, I negotiate the bumps to see my wife to recovery. Faith rings true in a world that seems to go loose at all ends.
Faith continues to believe even the circumstances aren’t conducive enough. Luanne's been transferred to a ward to recover from her almost vegetative state. I give praise for the wonder of healing I see in her- I praise God for the movements in her limbs, her mouth, her nods, her smiles and from the whining off of tube feeding to the removal of the tracheostomy. By focusing on the positives, I am able to look at Christ while facing the stormy seas.
Redemptively, faith manifests itself as my wife recovers gradually. On several occasions, the taxi driver asks me some leading questions which I respond gladly.
Do you work in the hospital? he asks.
No, I'm here to see my wife, I reply.
What's wrong with your wife? he presses on.
Well, my wife had a stroke since 1 December last year... I share my story.
Can she recognize people? another even asks after hearing my account.
I am so delighted that I can answer their questions candidly. Along the way, I share with them my Hope in my wife's recovery even though the path ahead was very dark. I tell them my wife's been visited by many who pray for her healing. I tell them how much I need this emotional and spiritual support too. Before I come out of the cab, I invite them to visit a church that believes in Jesus and teaches the Bible in their dialect or language. Their tone is always warm and sympathetic. I am always amazed by the thought that the Lord must have created the open door and planted this seed of faith.
From history to testimony, faith expresses itself afresh. I remember once talking to Segar, a taxi diver, about my experience as a care-giver. He confided in me that he too visited his wife in an ICU because of cancer. Again, I invited him to visit a Tamil-speaking church to seek prayers and support. He replied assuredly. Soon he received a call announcing his wife's passing away. Instinctively, I asked him permission and reached out my hand to pray for him-peace, wisdom and comfort for the bereavement. I trust that he will find saving faith in Christ. There is something new to me –our faith cries out to reach out the lost people that we once were.
Faith attracts the like-minded. At a Rehab hospital, I recall praying for my wife with my friends and family. Witnessing it, her physiotherapist told my daughters that she can pray along with us too. My wife’s neighbor who saw us sing praises, read the Bible and pray mentioned to my girls that she could say amen to our songs and prayers. When my mind uploads these images, my heart is strangely warmed.
Seeing beyond here and now is what faith teaches me. My eyes of faith will see these taxi drivers in heaven one day! Also, Luanne, in a Rehab hospital currently, will regain her speech and be able to use her left hand and legs one day.
Suffering grows our faith and it is as many faceted as love. Yes, now we see these things only as indistinct images but one day we will see Him face to face.
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