I just finished rereading Faithquake by Doug Herman. Doug was a pastor when his wife was diagnosed with HIV. Later his daughter also contracted HIV and he and their son Josh lost wife/mother and daughter/sister within a short time period. The HIV came through a blood transfusion, through blood donated by someone who was participating in homosexual partnerships. The illness, journey, and loss of his family shook his faith and left him questioning things he had never looked at before.
There were times Doug wanted to give up.
There were times Doug was unsure about what he believed.
There were times when Doug was shaken.
“Quitting seems all too common today. Look at the divorce and suicide rates. Obviously many people are not content with their lives. The actions range from dramatic to insignificant, but they are indicative of people who do not follow through. And tempting though it was to give it all up during our Faithquake, Evon and I decided to stand. For us that meant enduring the thoughtless a reactions of people. It meant to we would continually seek medications and treatments in conjunction with our prayers for healing. We had decided to stay and in our faith, continuing to seek god and worship him as Lord even though we didn’t understand him. We could easily have given up, and though we were greatly tempted at times to do so, we stood instead. Above all, in our efforts to stay, we had to fight another enormous temptation: spiritual anemia.”
“Anemia is a condition of the blood where a deficiency of hemoglobin accompanied by reduced red blood cell counts causes of weakness and breathlessness. Anemia is expressed physically in decreased power, vigor, and vitality. Spiritual anemia has parallel symptoms. They are even more serious than the physical ones because they are soul-deep – of eternal significance. This spiritually anemic person lacks the power, enthusiasm, and endurance of soul required not only to endure a Faithquake but to rebuild after having one.” (p70-71)
“If, in the face of crisis, you and I are anemic in the spiritual sense, we need a transfusion. This must come from one who has already encountered the disease of sin and subdued it. We need the blood of and overcomer-Jesus Christ.” (p73)
“When we experience a shaking in life, we feel it emotionally and struggle with that intellectually. But spiritually we can survive intact when we live our lives in God’s presence. This is the deep, inner communion with God where spiritual truths are found and strengthened. It is here that we abide in the presence of Christ. It is here that we cannot be shaken. Sad to say, we often allow our spiritual security to find its foundation in elements other than Christ himself. We may have all the training and heritage of Christianity, but we have never personally anchored our soul onto this immovable rock. This is a situation I found myself in when we discovered that Evon was HIV positive. I had been taught about Christ. I knew him as savior and lord but not yet as Rock. Thus, I was shaken.” (p88)
Doug chose to stand, stay, and believe. So should we!
Do you believe in Christ as Lord and Savior? Have you anchored your life to him as the rock that provides you stability in the storms of life?