This past week I had a chance to spend time with my daughter in law who is a phenomenal mother. Watching her with my grandkids was an amazing experience. She is so patient (she has twin girls who are 5 months old and a 3 year old who is beyond busy). I was exhausted just watching her with them, but also in awe of how attentive she is to their needs. My son is also a great dad and it is a joy to watch them parent.
She and I had a chance to visit and we started talking about resiliency. How is it, she asked me, that you can hang in there with everything that happens in your family and job? How do you maintain faith when you pray and answers don't come? My response to her was a new thought to me (and that seldom happens any more) so I need to share it with you!
I told her that there are two kinds of faith. There is the level that says that we know that God can answer our prayers. We believe that He has the power to do so, and we trust that He will answer in His time.
But there is a deeper level of faith that I have just recognized in the past few years. It's the level of faith that says that I believe that God will change ME so that I will be OK even if He doesn't make the changes I'm requesting. It's the faith that believes that even when God doesn't do the things we ask, that He has things under control. So we continue to ask, knowing He has the power to answer our prayers, but we rely on HIS wisdom and HIS power to protect, strengthen and comfort us even when we don't see answers, even if things never change, and even during the times when things aren't going our way.
I spent many years living in that first level of faith. It's not a bad place to be. But I think the second layer that I have discovered lately, is a much more settled place to be. I'm not always worrying about how or when God will answer my prayers... I just live in the calm place of assurance that He has it under control.
It's a good place to be.