Vapors of Faith

Have you ever experienced a time in your life that has caused you to question, not so much the existence of God, but rather if He is present in the time of your suffering?

If you answered yes, then you and I have something in common.

Painful situations occur life and I, like many, have experienced difficult trials.  Trials, I might add, that have held their share of suffering and pain.

As I have journeyed through the “shadows of the valley,” where degrees of dark vary and the feeling of abandonment conjures up fears, I have ask the questions, “Where is God?  Does He know what has happened to me?  Why doesn’t He deliver me?  Does He even care?”

The answer to all of those questions is, yes.   Yes, He knows.  Yes, He cares.  Yes, He will deliver and Yes, is He with you.

When we are under such stress our faith can become like a vapor, diffused and thin.

Even those who we associate with having great faith have had their vaporous moments.  But it is in these moments where faith is tested and it is in the vapor where the solidity of faith is formed.

Matthew 14:22-32 shares a story of the twelve apostles.    The same twelve who were called by Jesus to follow Him.   The twelve we associate with having great faith.  But we are reminded through a stormy event that their faith didn’t start out great.  It began as a vapor.

Matthew 14:22-32

Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side as he stayed behind to dismiss the crowd.

Among the twelve disciples were seasoned fishermen and sailors.  So they obediently climbed into the boat as Jesus went off to pray.

When the boat was in the middle of the Sea of Galilee, the weather changed – drastically.  The wind and waves kicked up and the boat was tossed violently by the churning water.  It was an all out storm.

However, no matter how rough the weather may have been, the disciples were more terrified when they thought they saw a ghost walking toward them on the water.

Okay, I get it.  They were in the middle of the sea, on a fishing boat, waves pouring over the sides, wind tossing them about and just when they thought it couldn’t get any worst, it does.  Sound familiar, can you relate?

But then the “ghost” spoke, “be of good cheer!” It is I, do not be afraid.”

An excited and impulsive Peter called out, “if it’s truly you call me to come to you.”

Jesus replied, “Come to me.”

Peter jumped out of the boat and walked toward Him on the water, sinking only when he took his eyes off his Lord.

Times that deeply challenge our faith will inevitably occur.  Eventually a situation will require us to trust God in times when our faith is but a vapor.   But don’t be shaken.  If we keep our eyes on Jesus we will not sink into the sea of despair.

We do not need to see or feel God to believe that He is with us.  By trusting in Him to bring us through the valley of shadows the vapors of our faith begin to solidify and trust begins to take shape and form.

As I said before, I have walked through the various shadows of trials.  I am acquainted with the feelings of abandonment and fear.  And I have exercised the human factor in questioning the where-abouts of God when I haven’t felt His presence.

With that being said,  I am here to attest that the very trial that I thought would be the end of me turned out to be the very catalyst of solidifying my faith.

No matter how dark your shadows seem, God is there.  It does not matter if you cannot feel His presence, He is there beside you.   And all the waves of the storm cannot cause you to sink if you keep your eyes on Him.

I marvel in knowing that God is with us even when we can only see Him in a ghostly vapor of His true form.

Donna

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5 thoughts on “Vapors of Faith

  1. This post reminds me of the words of two songs. One says “Sometimes He calms the storm, and sometimes He calms His child.” The other is the song “Blessings” by Laura Story, which has the lyrics “What if blessings come through raindrops, what if your healing comes through tears. What if the trials of this life are your mercies in disguise”.

    I have had times when I wondered why God was letting me go through trials, without rescuing me or giving me what I wanted. Looking back, I can see that what I wanted was not always what was good for me. I think some of the trials I have been through have served mainly to be able to empathize with those who go through similar ordeals. All of them have served to grow my faith.

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  2. Mom, if this message was only meant for one. Then it is one who has been blessed. Eyes opened, thoughts changed. I appreciate seeing how your storm has solidified you, and through that you have been an encouragement to me and many others.

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  3. Mom, this is a great reminder and message of faith. No matter the consequence or situation, God is always there walking through it all with us. He wants us to trust in Him and His power that He is the only one who can get us through it. THANKS SO MUCH for this message.

    I love knowing that even through the hardest storm He is there even in a vapor.

    I love the story you used about the men on the boat and God calling Peter out, responding to His question, and Peter had the faith. Thanks again mom, you encouraged me and I know you’ve encouraged others.

    I think I’ll use this in either one of my bible studies or worship band practices studies some time soon. Love you.

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  4. For every storm God has a plan. Sometimes at first it’s easy to forget that God is with us when the waves seem to take our ship to places we don’t want to go. It gets dark and we are frightened. But the wonderful news is, God IS with us, and we can have joy knowing that something good will happen.

    I’m going through another storm with another one of our teenagers. I know prayer changes things…Oh, Lord, help me not be afraid but make me courageous to ride the storm until you make the crooked path straight and calm the stormy sea once again.

    Praise the Lord for friends who care about us and ride the storm with us. May we each be brave enough to walk on the water to a friend in need, ALL eyes on Jesus…I love you Donna, miss you, too! Thanks for being my friend, XX,’s and prayers for the peace that passes all understanding for both of us. <3, Debbie

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Path walking is always enriched when joined by others. Won't you leave your footprints along the way?

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