The Faith Muscles

Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mk 9:24)

During our lifetime here on earth, we will all experience numerous trials and tribulations. Tough situations seem to follow us around every day and as long as we are alive we have to grow and learn from these experiences. Difficult times can cause us to transform and will lead us to greater faith. 

It is easy for our faith to waver even though we know very well how many times God has saved us out of tribulation. Father Kyrillos Ibrahim tells us that we need to keep an “inventory” of our past trials remembering God’s saving actions or the good that came out of our difficulties even if they had not turned out the way we initially had hoped for. 

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 14:22-22)

We all know the story of Jesus walking on water when his disciples were afraid of the storm. What is interesting however is that just a few hours earlier, the disciples had witnessed and participated in Jesus’ miracle of feeding the multitudes (Matthew 14:13-18). How many times have we witnessed God’s greatness one moment, yet wavered in front of new storms and trials the next?

Just like a muscle, our faith needs to be stretched and pulled to the limits and beyond so that through its healing it may grow stronger and bigger. Therefore we are called to endure painful experiences and our faith must go through the darkness of the mind, the senses, the emotions, and even to the point of abandonment. “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46; Psalm 21:1).

Let us also keep an inventory of our trials, and when times are tough, let us remember that eventually God’s presence will always shine in the darkness and illuminate even the darkest days. 

  • Summary and Quotes from “All That I Have is Yours” by Father Kyrillos Ibrahim

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