Faith. Hope. Love. And the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Faith is very, very important, though. In recent days, I have been increasingly grateful that God and Daddy (Charles Davidson, whose surname makes me think of him as the Psalmist's son, and me as a daughter of the Psalmist's son) gave me a gift of greater faith.
Pray. Believe. Have faith. Trust. Obey.
I am having to rely heavily on faith as I face Christmas. I fear I will cry at any time. I often feel I am on the verge of tears. A few come, such as when I called to talk to Mom this morning. But not many have flowed. (Yet.) I am reminded I can have faith that's OK if and when the tears flow. And what if I don't cry? That's OK, too.
Monday I was starting to feel resentful about how some things are going at work and in relationships, especially with regard to Christmas expectations. I finally had to step back and just pray some more. God gently reminded me that I still am very much in the process of grieving. Holidays have been a complex mix of eager spiritual anticipation and earthly stress for me for many years, and of course they are more so this year, so soon after Daddy's Oct. 30 death. God was able to help me trust again that He is in charge, guiding me and loving me and strengthening me and comforting me.
Part of this is related to thoughts I've been journaling about for awhile: Yes, but ... What if?
How many times will God have to show me before I really believe? First came Daddy's summer 2010 diagnosis, fall 2010 surgery, new diagnosis in August 2011 and eventual amazingly sudden and smooth passing; and seeing so many ways in which God sustained Daddy and Mom and the family. In the weeks since Daddy's death, Mom has had some health issues, and again we see over and over how God has taken care of her and continues to do so.
But as Mom has had her health scares and things keep working out smoothly, my thoughts have touched at least briefly on situations where that isn't the obvious result. What about the death of 5-month-old nephew Ryan all those years ago, uncle Joe's desperation, Josh's dad, 9/11 and other unexplainables .... people who died too soon, unexpectedly and/or alone.
For today, the message God seems to be giving me is that it's not what happens but how we react that matters most. Daddy reacted in simple faith. Mom reacts in simple and strong faith. I am grateful to be surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1), on earth and in Heaven -- people who have chosen faith in God. And I can choose faith, too. What a gift!