Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1a NLT
A little over 15 years ago I leased a horse for the summer with hopes of buying him (I did buy him and owned him for 11 years). I had 2 horses in the past when I was really young and it had been years so it was a new exciting adventure and a great way to release stress in a really emotionally draining job. I tried to get out and ride 3 times a week to get the practice and bond with him. That summer we went to the mountains in what seemed like every other weekend for a day ride also.
Bruno was a very steady easy-going horse that never seemed to startle even if a bird flew out from the grass underneath him. He was also very patient because there were many days that I’d tangle the halter as I was walking out to the field. I could see him let out a deep breath on those days and stand patiently while I tried to get the tangled mess on his head. He was also great because he came when I called his name (he was very treat motivated).
Sometimes my friend and I would ride on the tracks, through the fields, on the highway and once we even went into town and through a drive thru to get a pop. In November, Marsha and I decided to ride down to a walking trail and see something new. This was what seemed like a very easy ride. We took our lunches and headed down the road to the trail.
The only thing I really remember about that day is that at an auction, I had purchases a new saddle bag for short rides and she had found some weird crocheted hat for her horse and we had both decided to use our new purchases. The reason I don’t remember anything else is because of what happened at the end of the day.
I’ve been told that on our way home, we were galloping down the street and Bruno ran past Marsha and Diamond without me on him and he was bucking. Here’s what I can tell you. We never took a cell phone with us when we rode but that day Marsha had hers. I was unconscious and the only call that any person in the area could make due to no cell coverage was the one 911 call that connected. I spent a couple of weeks in the hospital in an amnesia state with a skull fracture and my mom and sister rushed down from North Dakota to care for me.
When I was released from the hospital on Thanksgiving Day I still had no memory of the accident, couldn’t drive due to a seizure, had a traumatic brain injury causing me to have no filter between what I thought and said, couldn’t go back to work, had no sense of taste or smell, and the doctors didn’t think I’d get some of my life back for at least a year if at all. But GOD – he had different plans. Before Christmas I got my drivers license back without having to redo all the testing, began physical and speech therapy, and started back to work on a very part-time basis in January. Yet I still couldnt taste or smell anything. Even though the Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist told me this would be permanent because it must be a result of the skull fracture, it never crossed my mind that it would be a problem or permanent.
I continued to eat my favorite foods because I knew I loved the taste. I bought my favorite lotion scents, candles and even new perfume because I wanted to have the things I loved. I learned to eat by texture and even joked that I could easily do Fear Factor and win because I could eat anything. It became a way of life yet I still knew God would heal me and I expected it so I kep eating and buying the things I loved.
A couple of years after the accident a friend and I went to a Joyce Meyer event in Denver. I was sitting in the crowd when during prayer time she had us touch the part of our body that needed healing as she prayed. I knew instantly I was healed! I didn’t have a ovewhelming sense of smell but I just knew it and told my friend I could taste and asked for a piece of candy. Ironically or not so ironic one lady had a Bit O Honey and gave it to me. It was very subtle but I knew and I was excited to eat actual food and taste it. It wasn’t until we had left the evening event and were driving home that my smell came back and boy was that a shock. You see on the drive home we went past onion fields and a feed lot. Can I just say YUCK! My thankfulness for complete healing sadly flew out the door and I wondered why God didn’t heal my sense of taste and not my sense of smell.
As I’ve been sitting here in God’s waiting room, I’ve learned a lot about what it means to live by faith. I don’t see his answer to my prayer. What I see is a lot of closed doors and little hope. As I’ve been crying out to him, he reminded me of this experience. This is what it means to live by faith. To go through the practice even when the reality isn’t there. I never considered back then that eating foods I like or buying lotion and candles because I remember how much I loved them was an act of faith. I did it because I knew I liked it and even if I couldnt’ taste or smell, the reality was they were part of me and I knew I’d enjoy them.
The Amplified version says “Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things we hope for, being the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality (faith perceiving as real fact what is not reveled to the senses). He reminded me in the waiting room it takes faith. We may not see the outcome or the answer but we have to hold on. Sometimes it’s doing daily even if we don’t see it. Sometimes it’s as simple as eating your favorite food even if you can’t taste it because you know it tastes good.
What are you holding on to? Where is your faith being stretched? What actions do you need to take even if you don’t see the evidence that the answer is coming?
Prayer: Father, you ask us to have faith. Some days my faith is strong and I hold on to your promises even if I don’t see the reality. Other days honestly my faith is weak. Help me to hold on and have your assurance even when I don’t see things happening in my timing. I want to have the conviction of their reality even if I can’t see it with my physical eyes yet.