Faithful Friends

I've recently had conversations with two dear friends of mine, one of
whom is having major surgery later this month and one of whom is
experiencing complications in her pregnancy. In both cases, I was
quick to assure them of how far medicine has come these days, in terms
of procedures that used to be rare and clunky not being common and
easy. I was also quick to let them know I'd be praying for,
respectively, a successful surgery and a smooth delivery.

But both my friends pushed me further in my faith. The one having
surgery remarked of the calm he has felt throughout the prep process,
getting himself right with God in terms of knowing his place with Him
no matter what happens of the surgery. The one who is pregnant also
expressed serenity, considering it a small thing for God to fix what's
wrong, to provide another way if it isn't fixed, or to help her and
her husband deal with the consequences if there is no other way.

This, I believe, is true faith. It is one thing to acknowledge God
enough to remember to pray for good health and smooth living. It is a
deeper, better, realer form of faith to entrust oneself into God's
will no matter what the earthly outcome, and to experience a greater
measure of peace as a result. Well did Jesus speak of a peace He
could give that the world couldn't understand, for it truly is an
elusive thing, both in the abstract and in the real, to really and
truly believe in God - not as a cosmic Santa Claus who we ask for
things when we are in need, but as an all-loving and all-powerful God
who can be trusted even and especially in times of uncertainty,
difficulty, and loss. I'm thankful for friends who model such a faith
and such a lifestyle, and am challenged to myself be the same.

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