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Now you’ve all got the George Michael song in your head.  Admit it!

I think this is the most challenging part of being a Christian:  having faith.  As I walked over to Ruby’s bus stop to greet her, I considered our current situation.  There are several situations where we need God to intervene directly, and soon.  I can’t do any more to further the cause; I must sit back and wait for the Lord to act, or for Him to direct me in such a way that I *can* act.  I’ve written about faith before a couple of times, most recent as the last month or so.

Ruby has two loose teeth, both hanging by a little thread of skin.  She moped all the way home from the bus today because her front tooth, a loose baby tooth, was bleeding.  She checked it out in the mirror.  She let me touch it.

“Ouch!” she winced as I pushed to see how loose it was.

But she won’t let me pull it.  No way!  I tried to convince her I’d be gentle and it would only hurt for a moment.  She remains skeptical, and the tooth remains in her head.  For now.

Faith still remains a mystery to me.  I wrestle with it.  I want so much to believe and not doubt, but I seem to go through the faith cycle repeatedly, like a broken washing machine:  white-knuckled anxiety – doubt – prayer – faith, over and over.  I hope this is strengthening the “faith muscle” as I trust and obey.  What of people who pray and great miracles occur?  I’ve heard all the stories of people who were down to their last piece of bread and groceries appeared on their doorstep.  God heals people of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, you name it.  He is able to do that.

Scriptures like these add to faith’s foggy mystique:  Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1 NLT). More specifically:  And it is impossible to please God without faith.  Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely (other translations use the word “diligently”) seek him.

The Old Testament has some things to say about faith, too.  David says in Psalm 27: 13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.

And that’s really the issue, in my opinion. I have good in mind for Ruby.  I want her to be able to eat regularly again, not dodging those wiggly teeth.  At this point, she doesn’t trust me to remove them for her.  Will we see God’s goodness again, when he’s come through time after time?  Yes.  We will.  I start to recall the times He’s provided for us, financially, with children, with jobs.  He will bring good out of these situations and take care of us.  He is our Father.

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