Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

Faith the size of a mountain
October 22, 2008

The minister was quite impassioned as he delivered his Sunday sermon, proclaiming the necessity for people of faith to defend their ground against the onslaught of atheistic attacks against both God and Christianity. Speaking with power and authority about the need for warriors of faith, the preacher quoted a well known passage of scripture:

“One evening when the crowd had finally dispersed, Jesus’ disciples came to him in private and inquired, ‘Lord, why is it there are times when we can perform great miracles, yet at other times we find ourselves completely powerless?’

“Looking into the distance, Jesus replied, ‘Your problem is your lack of faith. Truly I tell you, you must have faith the size of a mountain to perform even the smallest of miracles. Nothing will be possible for you without such a faith.'”

Leaving the church that day, many from the congregation were newly committed to eradicating any seed of doubt from their faith, no matter how small.

A Woman Without Faith
September 2, 2008

In a time of devastating war there was a woman whose husband was killed on the field of battle. Upon hearing the news, the woman dropped to her knees and cried out to the heavens, “I curse you God for taking away my husband and for stealing the father of my children!” At that moment she collapsed to the ground, her body limp and seemingly lifeless. Unresponsive, she was carried to her bed where she lay for two days, not saying another word.

On the morning of the third day, the local priest came and stood at the woman’s bedside. Though silent and without movement, the woman’s eyes were open, staring blankly at the wall across from her bed. For a long time the priest simply stood beside her with his head bowed and eyes closed, appearing to be in prayer. While the priest was still praying, slowly the face of the woman seemed to regain life. Seeing the priest beside her, she opened her mouth, and finding her voice said, “Are you the man who came to me in my dream?” Slightly startled, the priest said, “I have only been standing here, praying for you and your family. Tell me about your dream.” Still regaining her consciousness, the woman described her dream to the priest.

“I dreamed I was walking in a beautiful and lush garden. I walked for many hours as the garden continued to expand before me, appearing to be without boundary. For a long time I saw a man in the distance and then suddenly he was right before me. He did not respond to my words and did not appear to be aware of my presence. All the while, he was speaking loudly, almost shouting, in a beautiful language I could not understand.”

Contemplating the woman’s dream, the priest said, “Perhaps our Lord has appeared to you in your grief, seeking to give you comfort and rest.” With anger in her voice, the woman responded, “I have renounced my God and I refuse his comfort. Please leave me alone in my grief.” With sadness, the priest bowed his head and left the room. But after closing the door behind him, he stopped and quietly prayed, “O God of our fathers, I pray for this dear woman who has experienced such a tremendous loss. I pray for her and her children who have lost a husband and a father so prematurely. I pray you would help her to find her faith. Blessed Father hear my prayer.”

A Woman of Great Faith
August 26, 2008

In a time of devastating war there was a woman whose husband was killed on the field of battle. In accordance with her religious customs, and during the specified time of mourning, she went to see the high priest in the holy city. Arriving at the temple, the woman was brought before the priest. As she bowed before the holy man, she said, “Wise priest, I come before you in mourning but I have confidence in the scriptures, which assure me that my husband is now with our ancestors in paradise. Though I am devastated by this loss, I am filled with faith in our God. He sustains me and lifts me up in the midst of my grief. Please bless me and pray that I might be rescued from any doubt and that I might not question God’s reasons for taking my husband from my children and me.”

Filled with sorrow for the woman’s loss, the priest placed his hand on the woman’s head and quietly mouthed an ancient blessing. He then prayed for her, saying, “O God of our fathers, I pray for this dear woman who has experienced such a tremendous loss. I pray for her and her children who have lost a husband and a father so prematurely. I also pray you would rescue her from her great faith. Blessed Father hear our prayer.”

Opening her eyes the woman stood silently before the priest. After a few moments she opened her mouth and said, “I do not understand your prayer, wise priest. My longing is for an even greater faith. Why did you pray for me to be rescued from my faith?”

With much compassion, the priest looked into the woman’s eyes and responded, “Dear child, I also long for you to have an even greater faith than you currently possess. That is the reason for my prayer. For it is only when we lose our faith that we can truly gain it.