Monday, December 3, 2007
Where is Your Faith?
When Jesus said "Where is your faith?" I don't think He was actually saying to them: WHERE have you placed it! I believe He was saying: WHAT have you placed your faith in, WHAT are you doing with your faith right now!
Where is your faith? What are you spending your days believing?
In Luke 8, Jesus is in a boat with his disciples, possibly travelling at night. He slept in the boat (I suspect He slept when He got the opportunity). But as his men were trying to manage things as best they could, there was a storm sweeping over the huge lake they were on. Amazingly enough, Jesus does not wake up, and the storm worsens until his friends are sure that they will all drown. It must have been bad- these were very experienced fishermen, but in this case they were terrified. They woke Jesus and said "Master, Master! We're going to drown!"
Jesus got up and (of all things) began to speak to the wild wind and the raging waters. Immediately they began to calm, and everything became smooth again. It is at this point that Jesus says to them: where is your faith.
I imagine that He said that because of the intense fear they had been experiencing. They were not only sure that they would all drown, they were convinced. Isn't that what faith is? When you are totally convinced that something will take place? After all, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the proof of things not seen.
Now what are the things that a depressed person is convinced will take place? Well, in this story, the disciples of Jesus probably had only suddenly come to believe that they were to drown, because of the intensity of the pressures all around them. Post partum depression can be like that, because before the baby is born, all is fairly normal. Afterward, however, there can be a sudden downhill spiral. A stepping off of the cliff of sanity. Then the intensity of the pressure convinces the mother that things will not be ok again. That she really just can't cope.
That's how I felt anyway. I didn't sleep for 3 nights at least after Elijah was born. I wasn't nursing properly, my baby was dehydrated and screaming... Even by the second day or so, I was having irrational thoughts. In some way I had become convinced. I had released my faith.
Sometimes depression doesn't come suddenly, it sneaks up. Slowly, over a period of years even, the depression begins to build a house of thoughts in the afflicted person's mind. One thought at a time, the person becomes convinced. He releases his faith.
Now in this story, Jesus doesn't tell the disciples where their faith ought to be. Just like in the garden of Eden story, when God says to Eve what have you done? He is a God of questions. Maybe He is telling us to examine our hearts for the answers.
What have you done...
Where is your faith?
What have you done with it? What aren't you doing with it?
If depression is something that you are doing with your faith- convincedly believing those depressed thoughts over, and over- then even when depressed you still have faith! You still have a choice as to what you will do with it. You can still choose believe or not believe. What will you do with your faith?
I began to believe (upon the counsel of friends) that God was my last and only hope. That He really would heal me, and that as He did, I would turn the rest of my life over to Him, and live in full obedience. And I began to think it. The thoughts played out in my mind every day, over and over, and I filled my mind with NEW things: worship cds, bible verses that I copied out, and pasted on our walls. It was my faith, and I believed those things. And I was well. I never again experienced post partum depression, even with 3 births after the healing.
You do have faith, God has given to every man the measure of faith. What will you do with it?
Where is your faith?