Tuesday, October 20, 2009


"Faith isn't the ability to believe long and far into the misty future. It's simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step."

Joni Eareckson Tada

Just ten days ago, my husband and I returned from Springfield, Missouri, where we spent several days with our younger son, Chris, who was hospitalized. A late afternoon phone call had turned a typical Wednesday into flurry. The following morning, we rushed to Missouri, not knowing what illness had gripped Chris's life. His symptoms were intense and confusing to us and the doctors. And for some time, the culprit remained a mystery. Accordingly, the enemy worked his work of fear, speaking untruths to our minds.

Many stormed heaven on Chris's behalf! The prayers of saints poured into the throne room! God's people prayed! And Chris improved. Glory to God!!! (The doctors told Chris just two days ago he tested positive for salmonella. More tests are pending, and we believe, know, Chris will be 100% healthy!)

We left Springfield once Chris was home and stabilized. As we travelled back to Alabama, we were met by a car that swerved into our lane. Jeff and I gasped, inhaled, spoke the name of Jesus. My husband had just enough room and time to move to the right, avoiding a tragedy for our family.

Arriving home about 10:00 Monday evening, I unpacked our suitcases, while Jeff went to Ruby Tuesday's to get us a salad. We ate, watched a little television, and got ready for bed. Our phone rang early Tuesday morning. You've had those phone calls. The ones that feel important when you hear the first ring. I had just awakened, but was still in bed. Jeff was in the kitchen making coffee, and he answered the phone. Five minutes later he came into the bedroom and announced that a dear friend had, in the night, left his mortal body to join the Lord. It was sudden death. Unexpected. A shock.
Danny's death was a blow to his family and all who knew him. He was a vibrant, fifty-seven year old man, who made everyone who knew him feel a little more special after leaving his presence. My husband and I stood in line at the funeral home two hours before we were able to greet the family. Danny was much loved.
Ten minutes after arriving home from the visitation, my phone rang. Seeing it was my sister, and knowing a late evening phone call from her was rare, I answered with concern and immediately heard the stress in her voice. "I hit a deer on my way home from work tonight. I think my car is totaled."
My sister, Nancy, was OK, but the pressing thought of a near-missed tragedy bore its truth through my heart like a laser. Later, we learned Nancy's life was spared because the deer did not go through her windshield. Our family praises God, and deems my sister's survival a miracle. Angels were near, and saved us from overwhelming grief. My dear friends, I am not sharing these incidents out of fear. I am not sharing out of depression or anxiety about the future. I am certainly not sharing to gain pity or to manipulate emotions. I am sharing because of reality. The reality of our faith! The reality of our lives! That our fleshly tabernacles are simply housing our souls, which can depart this world in a matter of seconds. With no warning. With no control of ours or others. With no choice of life or death.

And such stark reality brings home a collision of faith and flesh. Recent circumstances have brought me face to face with self. I have looked. Searched. Questioned. Pondered and wondered my faith, its strength and its weakness. Looked in the eyes of uncertainty and realized the shaky state it can bring. Realized the only certain situation in this mortal life is uncertainty itself.

Collision of faith and flesh is stunning. It is gritty reality right in your face. It can be quite rude and ugly. Its abruptness raises personal inspection, a microscopic look of survival faith, that part of your life in God that is left when living gives you less than best, or worse that worst.

A simple knowledge of God, dear friends, is not breath enough for survival faith. No, survival faith, the shattered remains from collision of faith and flesh, must have something more. Deep roots, fertile soil, good water, tender care. A divine taproot that glues faith fibers together, so that no tugging, pulling, or digging can transplant or destroy our life in God.

Greater than physical life and greater than human emotions, survival faith is staying strength. Our lives are fragile. Tender. Always changing. In a moment's notice or less, our world can turn upside down. Stability turn to chaos. Joy become sorrow. Love lead to loss.
But for the taproot of Jesus Christ, our faith would be vague in those moments. Without Him, we would stumble in our darkened rooms for faith's failing glow.
Yet, there is no stumbling, when our taproot is strong. Jesus is divine light and strength. He is our intercessor. He is our peace. Our comforter. Deliverer. Friend. The I Am Who is more sure, more certain, than every uncertainty. The Faithful, Changeless One Who remains in our faithless, vague moments.

I desire divine light and life. I am praying God will purify my faith. To be honest, it's an intimidating prayer. I fear what testing it may bring, but the silent alternative will only give stagnation: a state of inactivity; still waters, without current or circulation. What an unbearable thought of compromised Christianity! No, I must choose to venture into deep waters with God.

I don't want to be stale, my dear friends. I want, need, must have living water that mightily flows through my spirit. I crave a river of God that sanctifies and changes who I am. Not only for myself, but for my husband, my children, grandchildren, family, church, and friends. And most of all, for the glory of God! That God would be glorified in my life in all things! That in everything I do others would see less of me and more of Jesus!
Many have chosen deep waters. So many saints have had devastating, life-changing collisions, not just potential traumas, with faith and flesh. So many servants of God have given all they have for the kingdom. Their stamina of faith puts me to shame! Their lives of victory challenge my life of less! Their belief in God for great things proves my life simple. Their joy in trials gives me hope, however, for pure faith!

May the Lord give us grace to allow Him to take survival faith and multiply its seed. With joy, let's pray to grasp Christ's hand and trust Him as He leads to deep waters, though their isolation and profoundness overwhelm us. May every challenge in life send us to the mirror; to see reality of flesh; to face the truth of human inability; to turn to a limitless God; to hope in the Hope of our salvation; to trust in His name, El Roi, the Responder to needs; to take Christ's hand and believe His leadership as best, even if He guides to deep waters. Even if faith and flesh collide!

Heavenly Father, please help me to learn complete trust in you. It is a process, dear Lord, and I must yield to its work in my life. May I, in faith, take your hand, in all situations, and walk with you to deep waters. In Jesus' name, Amen.

*When thinking of those whose faith has survived truly amazing challenges, I am reminded of Paul, Abraham, Joseph, Daniel, and so many others in the Bible. I also think of Elisabeth Elliot, Corrie Ten Boom, and Catherine Marshal, and Amy Carmichael. And then there are those so closely connected, whose everyday personal lives are overwhelmed with the need for survival faith. I have seen many here on blogger, whose lives are beautiful testimonies of God's amazing grace and His ability to carry us when faith and flesh collide.

When you think of survival faith, whose life most influences you? Perhaps it is one from God's word, or another saint from history, a contemporary individual, even someone you personally know.

*Research and scripture are from www.thefreedictionary.com and www.biblegateway.com


  1. Wonderful post! Your words "I don't want to be stale.....want, need, must have living water......crave a river of God that sanctifies and changes who I am" - is my hearts cry as well! Nothing completely satisfies like plunging into the deep depths of His heart!
    Sweet Blessings!

  2. Oh Andrea...
    what a week you have had. A true sign of growth is coming. Growing pains can hurt at times. Then we stretch stretch stretch.

    This is such a well written post. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

    God bless you, my friend,

  3. I like the term "survival faith"...that's the type I want to have, but I fear I have fallen short many times...

    When I think of the influences of that type faith, I am most inspired by Paul and Daniel, Corrie Ten Boom, and my beloved grandparents...

    Wonderful post, Andrea!

  4. Olá querida tudo bom?
    eu vim agradecer sua visita no meu blog,obrigada eu gostei muito do blog é lindo e iluminado tem fé!
    beijos e já estou te seguindo.
    fica com Deus

  5. AMEN! So true....may GOD take the seeds of my faith and multiply them for HIS glory!

    Blessings and prayers, andrea

  6. Dear Andrea,
    I am glad to know that your son is better, and that you and Andy got home safe from that long trip.

    So many blessings to be thankful for. But the truth remains, daily we walk through the valley of the shadow of faith.

    And like you, I desire to go into deeper waters of my faith. I never want to remain in the realm of the shallow and the superficial and the comfortable.

    Thank you for the heart stirring post. I do desire to leave behind a legacy of faith.

    Blessings abundant be yours today.


  7. Hi Andrea, I'm so glad Chris is coming out of it, and I do know it's because of all the prayers that were going out for him. Wow you really went through some stuff all at once. Your right we just never know when our time will run out and If we do live for a long time, it really is for a short while. We have to keep in mind this is just a temporary place, just passing through. I thank the Lord for opening my eyes to see and ears to hear and giving me a chance to live through his righteousness and not of my own. I thank the Lord for the HOLY GHOST and being baptize in Jesus Name and it all started out when I was 42 years old. My life at that time had changed 100% from what I use to be and it has been now 10 years ago and I'm still praising Jesus for what he has done in my life-

    I'm so glad you stop over, It was nice of you to visit my blog and I appreciate the sweet note you have left me to read.

    God Bless you Andrea- Wishing you all the best!

  8. Andrea, I forgot to let you know if that is your home on your header, it is so LOVELY- I see you like victorian things... Very very nice!

  9. Wow! That's more drama, more danger, than most families experience in a decade. Praise God for seeing you through.

    Your post made me think of one of the verses to Amazing Grace:

    Through many dangers, toils and snares,
    I have already come;
    'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
    And grace will lead me home.

    I'm operating on survival faith, but I need to spend more time in the Word and in prayer than I have been since school started. I need to be strengthened for this difficult season of life.

  10. I, too, want those deep roots by His living waters. So many tragedies and near-misses over your last few days--God is with you. He will use everything and anything to bring His children closer to Him. Praying.

  11. I so needed to read this post today. My spirit hungered for the words of the Lord and He sent them to me through you.

    Two weeks ago this Saturday my hubby and I were on our way to South OKCITY to shop an Estate Sale. We opted to do that before dropping off a very heavy vintage cabinet at an Antique Market where I rent a small space. On I35 an aging Mini Van stopped suddenly right in front of us. We were traveling 65 plus MPH and the break lights were out on the breaking Van. My guy slammed on his breaks and we missed crashing into the Van by less than 6 inches. I wasn't afraid until I heard the screeching behind us as the wheels on a stream of cars and trucks nearly crashed into us. I can only speculate as to the damage the cabinet we were hauling would have caused by slamming into our heads...

    All this happened because a black plastic trash bag was floating across the interstate.

    I was so thankful Steve was driving and not me. We pulled off to the side and all I could do was bow my head and pray. Prayers up to the Most High for His protection and calm... That peaceful, unwavering calm that comes from knowing the Lord is ALWAYS with us.

    Steve and I both instantly knew the God had intervened for us. Obviously we have work to do on this earth. Now we are seeking His guidance and direction more than ever.

    I'm drinking at the Springs of LIVING WATER! My soul is indeed satisfied.

    You all are in my prayers. Thanking God for His protection over you sister, mourning with you over the loss of your friend, and praying always for your son.

    Thank you for your prayers, too. I'll share more with you about it all soon.

    Love, Rebecca

  12. Dearest Andrea~
    What a heart wrenching post!
    Thank you for such words!!!
    May the Lord uphold you.

    Love~ Miss Jen

  13. Andrea, you illustrate the 'reality of faith' in your post. Praise God for His intervention in all the near tragedies of your week.

  14. Stunning.

    I am in the process of a collision moments. Knowing that the depth of my faith must root itself in the only Truth that can sustain life, I am busily weeding the garden of my heart. I want nothing, absolutely nothing, to deceive or distract me from the Source of my faith.

    "May the Lord give us grace to allow Him to take survival faith and multiply its seed. With joy, let's pray to grasp Christ's hand and trust Him as He leads to deep waters, though their isolation and profoundness overwhelm us. May every challenge in life send us to the mirror; to see reality of flesh; to face the truth of human inability; to turn to a limitless God..."
    AMEN and AMEN!


  15. Andrea, stop by my blog to pick up your blog award!


  16. Where would we be without our faith at times like these. What a wonderful God we have.

    The oldest sweet shop. Now I am having a senior moment - I think it is in Plately Bridge Yorkshire. I took that same pic.

  17. Oh, my! "I desire divine light and life. I am praying God will purify my faith. . . I fear what testing it may bring but the silent alternative will only bring stagnation. . . No! I must choose to venture into deep waters with God"

    I am so honored to meet another on this journey! I have been praying this same prayer. Yes, it is frightening at times, but God has refined and affirmed me and my faith in Him countless times in the last few years and I am ready, anxious, longing for it:-)

    I would be honored to be an accountability and prayer partner!

  18. Andrea,

    "Collision of faith and flesh is stunning."

    This collision. That's exactly where I am.

    Spiritually and literally.

    I was in a car wreck on October 8th. A car collided into the driver's side of my car.

    If God hadn't protected me, I...well, I don't want to think about it.

    And for the past three months, the evil one has been attacking my family and me in many areas.

    Thank you for sharing these words.

    You nailed this "survival faith" thing.

    Sweet dreams.

  19. Thank you for your awesome and challenging post! You are definitely not alone in your journey to deeper waters! I find it amazing the way we find sojourners! Thank you also for stopping by my blog today. May the Lord grant us courage for our journey!
    God bless you!

  20. Praising the LORD for His many mercies to you and your family Andrea! I like your list and add: Fanny Crosby, Edith Schaeffer and George Muller as heros of the faith. I've found myself asking for more of the LORD's grace lately. I'm thankful for your encouraging post.

    Blessings to you!

  21. Andrea,

    How beautifully spoken. The trials in life can be overwhelming at times but God's love will always see us through. This post is so very important as we all continue to grow and walk with Christ. May the Lord bless you and your family! I am glad that your son is healing and your sister is well:)!

    Blessings dear friend,


  22. Faith and the struggle therein is ample in the blogosphere these days. It's been a pondering and doing of mine for a few months now. I'm struck by something my friend, Alicia Chole (author of "anonymous") says in her book regarding "sudden experiences" that challenge our faith...

    "I feel that trials do not prepare us for what's to come as much as they reveal what we've done with our lives up to this point."

    In other words, our growth in our faith journey is often measured by our response to a crisis. Heaven knows, you've had plenty of experiences as of late to test this theory out. I hope you're seeing some personal growth. I certainly am.

    Love this, Andrea. One of my favorites...


  23. What a lovely write, Andrea! Without Him, my life would have been a disaster so many times, but He keeps me on track ... He is my life & love, His blessings & direction are all I ask.

    TY for sharing. Have a wonderful, warm week. TTFN ~Marydon

  24. Wow, Andrea, you've had quite a time lately. So many close calls. I, too, have had similar thoughts to those you mentioned here. Trials in life can either push you further from God or bring you closer. Life is so short. Just a stepping stone to the wonderful eternity that awaits us. We just have to keep our eyes on the big picture.

  25. What a wonderful uplifting post! Thank you for your encouraging words!

  26. Andrea:

    I always read your posts 2 or 3 times...so much to absorb. So much food for thought and so much depth. It is always a treat to see a new posting from you. God has surely given you a gift of beautiful expression. Your words stir our hearts and make us want more.
    Thanks Andrea!

  27. Dear, dear friend...what an amazing testimony of HIS unbelievable power and might!

    There is nothing like trials ~ isn't it? Phone calls, emails, visits, near-collisions...Oh but through it all - HE IS FAITHFULL! Never, no never did HE leave your side or that of your wonderful family!

    May Jesus Christ continue to give you HIS Grace and Peace.

    Thank you dear friend for your unwavering faith!


  28. My Goodness..what a week! It is times like this that all one can do is reach for the Lords hand. Thank you for using your trials to write encouragement to others.

  29. Dear Andrea,

    I have been away from "Blogland" for quite some time. Sorry for not visiting, I have missed your encouraging and uplifting posts. So I'm reading this one in total surprise as to all that has befallen you and your family. BUT what an amazing testimony to the grace and faithfulness of Jesus Christ to sustain and protect you and your family through all of this. His Spirit speaks through your words to our hearts to draw closer to the One who can give us this life and the one to come.



Thank you for visiting. I cherish your thoughts. You are special to me, but most of all, you are special to God, who loves you with everlasting love. May your life be swept into His joy and peace.

In the Wonderful Love of Christ our Savior,