I’ve been thinking a lot about faith recently. Not just because it’s Easter, which always encourages reflection, but also because this is the first time the Christian world is commemorating Christ’s resurrection in the middle of a global pandemic. Death and rebirth are common themes at this time. Yet this period of sickness, death, quarantine, and distancing represent for many, including me, a great period of dislocation but also a wonderful opportunity for learning, for growing in wisdom and also paying attention to faith and understanding what and who we value the most.
Having hope in these times calls us to a new way of thinking and being. Faith is a practice, sometimes a hard one and we have to lean into it with openness, curiosity, belief and discipline. Having it also means that we can learn from others who seem to possess it in droves, even when life is far from perfect. For Christians, like my friend who you are about to meet, faith is grounded in religion and the idea of God as the creator of the universe.
A Belief In God
Nadine Johnson and I have been friends for over 20 years. She is someone I turn to whenever I have questions of ultimate concern and with COVID-19, I have plenty. In the strictest sense, my questions to her have to do with belief and trust in the now, the future and in God and the actions that follow based on that trust.
For Nadine, faith starts with her belief in the Creator and she practices it every day even during the most challenging periods of her life. She has always said to me that her belief has kept her on a steady path, even more so the last 22 years, when she understood how God determined the purposeful way she should live her life.
She has led the women’s small group studies and worship at churches in Trinidad and Houston (Texas) for over 10 years. Recently, Nadine began her second Masters in Christian Counselling at the Rocky Mountain School Of Ministry and Theology in Denver Colorado. Her first is in Economic Development and International Marketing. I know that many of us have considered and worrisome questions about the future, post Covid-19 so I turned to Nadine to get her take on what she understood about faith.
20 Things You Should Know About Faith
1. Faith is a centralizing force. It’s your backbone and supporting column. Without it you will crumble in the face of challenges.
2. Having it can be hard, especially if you are surrounded by those who don’t.
3. On the other hand, having faith can be easy at times. I’ve found that as I deepened it and drew closer to God, I gained more confidence to believe I could succeed with the goals I set for myself. It wasn’t always in my timing; oftentimes it was in God’s.
4. Faith brings patience.
5. It is optimism in action. It provides you with strength in a world full of naysayers.
6. Faith is sometimes unpopular and it may make others uncomfortable. If they don’t understand the reason for your faith, it is easy for them to ridicule or dismiss you.
7. Faith is contagious. It becomes more and more effective the more it is shared.
8. It loves company. You will feel powerful when you’re surrounded by others who share a belief similar to yours. If they don’t, your life can still be enriched by the rich diversity of opinions.
9. Faith, at times, is better when silent. Sometimes you just have to do your faithful acts quietly. When it bears fruit others will see.
10. Faith can add fuel to a fire, your fire.
11. Faith can be invigorating, like air, it can breathe new life into despairing situations and make them feel less burdensome.
12. It can disappoint you at times but it can also make you believe again.
13. Faith must always link you back to the reason why you believe what you believe. If not, it can cause you to lose control and in some cases cause you harm
14. Faith is like having blinders on. Once powerful enough, you can see nothing but the end goal.
15. Faith is a belief and a lifestyle.
16. Faith and work must co-exist. Nothing will be accomplished without hard work.
17. It is a source of comfort. Like a favorite meal at the end of the day, it brings peace until you have the strength to continue to fight on whatever you’re working towards.
18. With faith, you can save the ones you love sometimes.
19. Sometimes faith is not enough.
20. You can encourage and speak to others but you can’t have faith for them. They must find their own.
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