Thursday, March 01, 2012

The Day Faith Became Work, by Michael Kelley #prettynormal

Guest post by Michael Kelley, Author of Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal: A Boy, Cancer, and God

It’s not that hard to tell when someone has something difficult to tell you. Sometimes it’s prefaced by, “Maybe you should sit down,” or “We interrupt this regular broadcast.” When that moment happens, you find yourself subconsciously holding your breath, emotionally preparing yourself for the worst. And when the news comes, it feels like a quick but brutal jab straight to the gut.

That’s the shot we took almost six years ago when I sat in a pediatrician’s office and heard him say a word about my two-year-old son that took my breath away:


There was a punch in the gut. And, immediately, my wife and I shifted into survival mode. Literally. We checked into the hospital and began to iron out the logistics of meals, laundry, toys, insurance, and all the other practical aspects that come with having a child who you just found out has a life-threatening illness. But those physical questions paled in comparison to the emotional and spiritual questions that jarred our protected world:

Where is God?
Has He abandoned us?
How could He let this happen?
Is this punishment for something we did?

So began a three-and-a-half-year journey into the world of chemotherapy, hair loss, neutropenia, and blood cell counts. So also began a journey pressing deeply into what we thought we knew to be true about God. And at least in the latter, we found that on a day when you’re punched in the gut with leukemia, faith could no longer be a condition that you fall in and out of.

Faith -- real faith in the face of circumstances -- is work. And it’s hard work. It’s an effort, sometimes minute by minute, to continue to believe when on the surface life seems to be crumbling around you. We no longer had the option of looking at life through rose-colored glasses. Everything that once was a concept now had to be actually practiced in real life. And, in the end, what we found was not only the necessity of working hard to believe, but also a God who, despite what the circumstances might tell you, is for our good and His glory.

But maybe that’s something you only really find when faith is work. Maybe pain is a door you can walk through into intimacy with God.

By Michael Kelley

Learn more about Michael Kelley’s book, Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal, in the video below:

[Email subscribers, please click on the title of this post to view the video online.]

Follow author Michael Kelley on Twitter at @_MichaelKelley (tweet with hashtag: #prettynormal) and Facebook. You can order Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal on Amazon.


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