The Great Divide between Faith and Action - Encouragement for Today - May 24, 2017

Jolina Petersheim

May 24, 2017
The Great Divide Between Faith and Action

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

Recently, I received a phone call from the pediatrician’s office notifying me that my 2-year-old daughter is scheduled to meet with a surgeon. Those two words — daughter and surgeon — should never be uttered in the same sentence. Stunned, I grabbed a crayon from the junk drawer and hastily scrawled the information on my 4-year-old’s notepad.

For several weeks, my youngest had complained that her belly hurt. At first, I thought it was because she’d had a stomach virus after Christmas. The remedy? I cuddled her around the clock and made her peppermint tea. But then, she started pushing on her umbilical hernia and complaining more often of pain.

I made a doctor’s appointment just to be sure the hernia wasn’t causing her pain. We’d been to four pediatricians over the course of her life, and they’d all said that her condition usually heals over time; we would check it when she was 3 years old, and again when she was 4.

In other words, there was no rush. I assumed this new pediatrician visit would simply be a preventative measure, doubling as a wellness check.

It wasn’t.

“These types of hernias don’t move down,” he said. “I think she needs surgery.” He looked at my face. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay,” I replied. “Just tell me what we need to do.”

I’m a firm believer in taking action when action is necessary. Often though, I take action even when action isn’t necessary, and this can get me into trouble. I think everything’s under control so long as I can do something about it.

Family is the hardest area for me to relinquish. I love my husband and daughters so fiercely I try to keep them safe by controlling their environments. This “trying” stems from my false belief that their lives are best when their worlds are perfect. I’m finding, however, that God proves Himself most faithful when they are not.

Two years ago, I heard other words that should never be uttered in the same sentence: husband and brain tumor. God brought my husband through that grueling surgery and recovery, and our family cherishes each other more for having walked through that trial. And yet, hearing those words today — daughter and surgery — instantly brought back fear.

How can I keep my family’s world perfect when the world surrounding them is not? Where is the divide between having faith and taking action? Is there one? Should there be?

I believe Hebrews 11:1 gives us the answer: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

A quirky neurosurgeon in Wisconsin saved my husband’s life, but I believe the prayers that poured in from around the globe saved him as well.

My husband and I recently had my daughter’s hernia evaluated. I’m thankful for medical advancements that may help her. But I also continue to place my hand on that tiny bump above her belly button, praying by faith for her to be healed.

Heavenly Father, give us discernment as we traverse the divide between having faith and taking action; help us to trust You with each aspect of our journey, knowing You are a good, good Father, regardless of where that journey leads us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

If you’d like to further explore the divide between having faith and taking action, purchase a copy of Jolina Petersheim’s latest novel, The Divide!

Enter to WIN a copy of The Divide by Jolina Petersheim. In celebration of this book, Tyndale House Publishers is giving away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here with your ideas on faith in action. {We'll randomly select 5 winners and email notifications to each one, by Monday, May 29.}

Where do you fall in the divide between having faith and taking action? Ask God for guidance on how to navigate this territory well.

© 2017 by Jolina Petersheim. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Tyndale House Publishers for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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Originally published Wednesday, 24 May 2017.