“Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.” – George Iles
Someone once shared an experience with me about his children, going to a secondary school here in Toronto. He mentioned that he had some issues with one of the teachers, who was penalizing the children for mentioning words of their beliefs and faith in the class. In fact, the teacher also mentioned that there was no such thing as Santa Claus, so it would be another penalty if any of the children discussed it. During a Parent-Teacher Association night, he had a pretty dynamic discussion about this kind of approach with the teacher. It seemed that they could not see eye to eye on the subject, so he asked that his child transfer to another school.
He mentioned to me that children should be given the right to believe in something, to have faith in something. Because without belief, there is no hope.
What a powerful thought and concept. But it is true. Belief and Faith are two related things, but they both have a positive intent if the values of a person are also positive. A lot of things never existed without thought and belief, along with the faith that it would become a reality.
Facing the Giants with Faith
As a practicing Catholic/Christian, I respect others faith and belief systems, but I also believe that faith and good works makes sense. I won’t get too preachy here (and I will repeat that I respect everyone), but I would like to ask you to keep an open mind, as I share a story that I learned from a movie called “Facing the Giants“.
Two farmers had large fields and were going through some sort of drought. They needed rain for it or the crops would perish. So both prayed to God for rain. However, one farmer prepared his field while the other one just waited.
Guess which field God had poured rain on.
We all a field of our own. That field could be a job; a business; an artwork; a patient being ready for surgery; a garden (no pun intended to the fields); a first date; a job interview and so forth – the list goes on and on. The field is a metaphor for what it is that we build, what we do to live, etc. When we prepare the field, we prepare for the much-needed rain.
Faith is seeing what is not there, but believing that it is. When you’re going through a storm and tempest, you do whatever it takes to stay alive.
Faith through a perfect storm. Literally.
I know of a true story that two dear friends of mine shared with me, it was a story that almost proved fatal, if they did not believe they would make it through.
This took place in the Philippines not too long ago, and it was a husband-wife couple who wanted to visit some friends at a nearby island. But to get to the island, they only had two methods of transportation; by air and by water. They chose the water.
Now, in the Philippines, storms are unpredictable. There would be a forecast and it would be broadcast. But before you know it, that forecast changes in a heartbeat.
My two friends went by a sort of rowboat, with the boatmen (2 of them) being of a young age.
As they paddled across the waters half way to their destination, they noticed that the clouds started to change. Before they knew it, it turned into a storm.
What they didn’t know was that storm would later become a signal 3 typhoon.
They suddenly were caught in the storm, with the waters generating waves as high as 20 feet in the air. Each time that happened, they had to hold on tight to the boat. Their boatmen, however, were apparently drunk! But surprisingly, they operated as if this was normal for them.
Of course though, my friends were terrified of their situation.
To make matters more interesting a whirlpool appeared and suddenly, they were caught on the edge of it. Both my friends felt they were not going to make it, but they kept praying in the hope that God will help them. They prayed like crazy.
Meanwhile, the boatmen were still drunk, but acted like they were having the time of their life, while methodically carrying out their operations like it was normal for them.
After 8 hours of being caught in the terrifying typhoon, they made it to shore. It was so dark, they didn’t know what island they were on. Now, in the Philippines, there are unexpected things on the islands. There are natives, headhunters, potential cannibals. If you are a believer in folklore, you might want to know what an Aswang is too.
Thankfully, they landed on the right island. Literally, landed, on the right island. Their friends had thought that they had perished into the South China Sea (I think that was where they had the typhoon.) But they lived to tell the story. Ever since then, they have been deeply a believer in God and always gives thanks and gratitude each day of their lives.
The Power of Faith, Regardless of where you are in life
When you’re going through the most difficult time in your life, a time where it seems hopeless and there is nothing you can do, that is the moment that you must be strong within and believe that all will be okay. At the same time, you must make sure you are doing something about it, even to the very best that you can, regardless of how low life has pushed you. You must never give up. It’s that kind of attitude that makes God smile upon you and lends you a helping hand.
If anyone goes through life faithless, inspire them. Let them know that there are things in this world that we cannot explain, but that if we choose to believe in them, beautiful and miraculous things can happen. Faith can grip you tight through a typhoon and bring you to safety, your destination, your goal.
Faith through good times is easy, but it performs better when you’re going through the most intense time of your life. Prayer is the key.