Elected Officials

By Faith, Not Feeling


Quinton Cools October 08, 2018
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This post was written by TeenPact Student Body Representative Anna Claire Williams of Mississippi.


 

Sometimes the Lord takes us though a spiritual desert to reveal that He is the only one that can quench our thirst. The dryness won’t make sense. At least, it didn’t make sense to me. About three years ago, my dear grandfather and I were each diagnosed with different types of cancer all in the same week. My grandfather passed away just four months later, and I became permanently blind in my left eye. It was the hardest year of my life.

 

All throughout that time, I couldn’t hear God. I couldn’t see Him, and I really couldn’t feel Him. And I remember crying out to Him and praying, “God, why? Why is all of this happening? Why can’t I hear you? Why does it feel like you aren’t with me?”

 

I was desperate for His presence, His comfort, His voice.

 

I constantly pleaded with Him to speak to me, to guide me, to show me something – just a glimpse of His purpose for my suffering. It was more than a year later before he answered that prayer. A friend of mine was suddenly diagnosed with the same cancer. I’d been there. I’d gone through the same treatment. I was able to relate, to sympathize – to be there for her. One day she sent me this text message: “You have no idea what a comfort it is to know that someone has gone through this before me.”

 

It was as if, through that message, God pointed and said, “That. That is just a glimpse of why I have brought you through what I did.” Then, it all seemed worth it. The pain, the loss, and the silence that I went through was meant for reasons far too great for me to fathom.

 

This past spring was another silent season. I was discouraged because I thought it would be one of the most spiritually rich times of my life, but it was quite the opposite. It was quiet – no jaw dropping revelations, no nights overcome by emotion, no confident feelings that He was present.

 

But, oh, how necessary!

 

At TeenPact and other spiritually-focused events, a lot of us experience a so-called “spiritual high”. These “mountain top experiences”, when you literally feel like Jesus is right beside you, are indescribable. But the Lord will deprive us of those emotional floods to teach us the He is so much bigger than just a feeling.

 

Feelings are easy, but faith is hard. 2 Corinthians 5:6-7 says, “Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord – for we walk by faith, not by sight.” While we are on this earth, we will never fully know or feel the entire presence of God. When discouraged with silence or the lack of a feeling, don’t lose heart, my friend! Following Christ is having faith in the unseen and the un-felt.

 

Cling to His promises. Pray scripture, God’s own words, back to Him. Plead for His presence but plead with faith knowing that He hears you. Promises like Isaiah 41:10, “Do not fear, for I am with you” are recorded all throughout the Bible. Search for those covenants and grip on to them, knowing that, what God promises, He is he will fulfill. And in times of spiritual drought, don’t be quick to doubt who your God is or who you have placed your faith in, because it says in Zephaniah 3:17, that “He will be quiet in His love.”

 

It’s hard to push through the lonely quiet right now. I get that. But how much sweeter it will be when He reveals Himself again.

 

Oswald Chambers spurs on the ones struggling to live by faith: “Wait on God and He will work… Faith must be tested…Believe steadfastly on Him and all you come up against will develop your faith…those years of silence were a time of discipline, not displeasure.”

 

Continue to walk by faith, my friends, not by feeling.

 

 

Representative Anna Claire Williams

About the Author

Quinton Cools

Quinton Cools grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and like any true Oregonian, he can identify the perfect cup of coffee. He is the fifth of nine… Read More

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