A few weeks ago, I had just hung up from a FaceTime call with a friend after we’d been watching the Bake Off on catch up (don’t judge…it’s a thing!) to realise that my husband Ian had been out on his run for a really long time.
It’s not unusual for him to be out for an hour or so, so I checked his location on “Find My Friends” on my phone and saw he was about five minutes away from home. Ten minutes later, I was starting to worry but just as I was about to press dial, he called me.
Only it wasn’t my husband on the other end of the line, but a paramedic. It turned out that Ian had had an epileptic seizure and – thankfully – had been found by someone who had called the ambulance.
This was such a shock. It’s been nine years (and the entirety of our marriage) since Ian last had a seizure and we fully believed that God had healed him – so much so that it didn’t even cross my mind that that’s what could have happened to keep him out for so long.
That week we flicked through a whole range of emotions: shock that it had happened, fear of it happening again, worry about Ian getting hurt in the future, and – to be blunt – annoyance that he now won’t be able to drive for 12 months.
One of the trickiest questions I found myself asking though was this: has our faith failed?
Healing for Ian is something we have believed for, prayed for, had words about and even shared testimony about. So why were we here?
As I was praying about this, I felt God impress on my heart that “has faith failed?” is, in fact, the wrong question here.
You see, when we make our faith contingent on an outcome (a healing, a breakthrough, whatever it is you need right now), it’s possible we’re missing the true focus of our faith.
I’m reminded of that moment in Matthew 14 where Peter walks on water. One moment, Peter is full of faith and asks Jesus to call him out of the boat and onto the water. Jesus does so and Peter boldly steps out on the waves towards Him. It’s happening…he’s doing it…until he sees the wind and waves; fear hits him and he begins to sink.
What Peter focuses on shapes his faith. While Peter is focused on Jesus, he’s full of faith that anything could happen. But when he looks at the wind and waves, he is afraid and begins to sink.
My favourite verse of this passage is 31: “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.”
Whilst our faith fluctuates, Jesus faithfulness is constant. Circumstances in our lives are bound to change, challenges will always come our way, global pandemics are guaranteed to turn our lives upside down. But when we live with our eyes fixed on Jesus, we find ourselves secure.
So with every twist and turn that life has to offer – however big or small – can I encourage you as this has encouraged me: let’s fix our eyes on Jesus. Let’s cultivate habits and disciplines that help us focus on him. Let’s make our default position to lean into Jesus, no matter what waves might come our way.
Written by Kat Harding (Hope City Sunderland) as part of the SHE IS Collective Blog Series