The Testing of Our Faith

When I first started to follow God, I really did not have much to complain about. I was much younger and a newlywed, so quoting scriptures and giving advice when I had not been through much, was easy. However, the time came when the testing of my faith would come and try me in ways I did not expect and it came very much out of nowhere. The bible says in James 1 2-4 (NIV) Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
When my daughter was 2 years old, we went through the most trying test I have ever known and this was a time to put into practice everything I had learned about faith up until that point.
She was admitted to the NICU with a very high fever, lethargic and no appetite. After days in the NICU and different antibiotics, nothing was working. She didn’t look like herself, wasn’t eating or drinking and actually seemed to be getting worse. She was deteriorating right before my eyes. I thought, “How could this happen, if she was being treated by some of the best doctors”. Her regular pediatrician at the time was NYC’s channel 5 pediatrician correspondent – sometimes we put a lot of faith in positions and titles instead of only looking at God. The head doctor came to tell me that she developed necrotizing pneumonia (an uncommon but severe complication of pneumonia, associated with high morbidity and mortality). Basically, her right lung had holes in it and was dead. He told me that it was a very rare case and that there had only been about five cases in the state that they were aware of at that time. In response, my exact words were “I don’t believe that”. He handed me the stethoscope and asked me to listen. He said I‘d hear breathing on one side and silence on the other side. He was not lying. After about a few weeks and different treatments, there was nothing else they could do and the only option was surgery. However, there was a very high chance that she would not make it. He handed me a set of paperwork and told me to have them signed by the next day. I asked him, “Are you telling me that if I sign these papers I’m consenting to give you my child for surgery and you cannot guarantee giving her back to me alive?” He said yes. I did not like that trade off, it wasn’t fair. The life of your child should never be negotiable. For 2 years, I prayed for my child and waited to get pregnant with her. She is all I ever wanted.
I called the pastors of my church and their wives. They came to the hospital, anointed my daughter and we prayed. After praying, we decided to sign the papers and surgery was set for 4pm. For the first time in about a month, on the day of surgery, she looked like herself. She ate real food and she smiled. Around surgery time, I was in the room waiting for them to come take her. My pastor at the time, a very anointed man of God said ‘‘they’re not going to operate on her, we should go home’’. Between my tears and the sound of machines, I did not make much of it. I looked at the clock, it was about 6pm and no one had come for us yet. Suddenly, a man I had never seen nor heard of before stepped in the room and asked to speak to me alone in another room. He proceeded to tell me that there was a small percentage that she could make it WITHOUT the surgery. He explained that this had only been done once before and it was a chance I took should I decide this. My exact words were “I’ll take that chance”. He said that I should wait because it was up to the head doctor and he may not like my decision. I replied, “No it is up to God and I’m her mother, I decline the operation”. I went back to the room, there was a lot of commotion and I never saw the head doctor again. This new doctor, Dr. Shah, was to me what the ram that appeared in Mount Moriah was to Abraham when he went to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22), it was my saving grace. We stayed a few more weeks getting antibiotic treatments and after about a month, she was finally moved out of NICU with no surgery needed. Today she is 100% healed, Praise God!
If I’m honest, I did not enjoy that test. At that moment, I did not consider it pure joy. However, it taught me to depend on God with the most precious gift He gave me, my own daughter. It taught me to rely on Jesus and in Him only. When my daughter’s doctors with their fancy titles failed me, He faithfully led me through those dark times. I believe that test led to the unshakeable faith I have in God today. When you have nothing else to fall on but God, you learn to depend on Him alone as if your life depends on it, because it does. Now looking back, I can see that to count it all joy does not mean the absence of sorrow (2 Corinthians 6:10). The joy in the midst of sorrow is because if you live through it and endure, you have the joy of your blessing. Today I can joyfully tell my daughter how God used her situation to strengthen my faith. If what you’re praying for did not or has not happened, don’t give up. Remember that endurance builds character and God uses it all for His glory. I once heard someone say “your greatest ministry will come out of your greatest pain”.
In life we’re going to go through pain, but God is on the side of those who trust Him through life’s most difficult moments. The bible says in James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. And Jesus said in John 16:33 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Be encouraged!
© 2021 ~ Carmen Adolphus