There was a drought in a town. As there was no rain for a long time, all the elders of that town decided to gather together to pray for rain. A lot of people came together to pray and among all those people there was a little girl who carried an umbrella while coming to pray. Some people laughed at the little girl talking among each other telling how ignorant the little girl was. One of them finally decided to ask the little girl why she had carried the umbrella when she knew that it had been a long time since it had rained. The little girl promptly replied, “I don’t want to get wet in the rain when I go back home”. “But there are no dark clouds today. So it won’t rain”, said the man. The little girl replied, “That is because we have still not finished praying. I am sure that once all of us ask God to give us good rains this year, He will definitely listen to our prayers and I am sure it will rain.” And that is faith!
Many of you must have read or heard about this story. The little girl had great faith in her prayers. She was sure that would grant the things that she prayed for. The letter to the Hebrews chapter 11 speaks of faith. It says “Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it. Faith is the reason we remember great people who lived in the past. It is by faith we understand that the whole world was made by God’s command so what we see was made by something that cannot be seen.”
Faith is having a definite belief in something. Faith is such that no force on Earth would make you change your stand on something. St. Augustine says,“ Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe”. We never find it difficult to believe things that we see and believing what we see is not a test of our faith. We say that we believe in God and we do. But hasn’t there been a time in our lives when we have questioned the existence of God? We don’t see God and hence find it hard to believe. But we fail to realize that we are seeing God in each person that we talk to and in each and every lovely creation of His that we see around us.
It is always easy to say that we believe in something when things are going good. It is in times of difficulties that our faith is tested. The Bible has gives us many role models of faith. Noah could have ignored God’s command to build the ark. There was no sign of the flood and hence he could have chosen to ignore it since he didn’t see the flood coming. But he did not and that is why he was saved. Abraham believed in God when he was told that Sarah would bear a son in their old age. That was faith. And his faith was truly tested when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham could have not taken Isaac up the mountain to be sacrificed. He was his only son! But he believed in God and His promise to make a whole nation out of his descendants. He believed that if God had asked something of him then God would give him the strength to do what he was asked to do. And that is why Abraham  is the father of faith.
In the New Testament the best role model of faith is Mother Mary. The angel told her that she would conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit and Mary believed. Mary could have said “No” to the angel but she didn’t. She didn’t know what was being asked of her was yet she willingly accepted God’s will. Things were never easy for Mary once she said “Yes” to God’s will. Every suffering that she underwent as a mother tested her faith. But Mary’s faith never wavered. Her “Yes” remained a “Yes”.
In our daily lives it is easy for us to say that we have faith and that we believe. We don’t give a second thought about it. It is only when our boats are tossed by the storms of life that our faith is tested. If we get what we ask for, we believe. But if we do not, we raise a lot of questions. We begin to question God’s existence. We keep asking, “Why me?” But have we ever told God, “Try me”?
When our prayers are not answered we are disheartened and sometimes decide to stop praying. But we do not realize that there is an important ingredient missing in our prayers and that missing element is faith. Jesus worked miracles in the lives of people who believed that he could heal them. When we pray do we truly believe that they will be answered? The woman who had haemorrhage for 12 years believed that she would by healed by just touching the fringe of Jesus’ garment. Then why can’t we believe that we will be healed when we receive Jesus in the Holy Communion?
Most of prayers would be answered if we only had faith. We do not require heaps of faith. But all that we require is faith even smaller than a mustard seed. And then even if our boats were to be troubled by the storms of life, we could easily walk on the water if we had faith. If faith as small as the mustard seed could move mountains, then imagine what having even a little faith could do to our lives. We need child like faith that the little girl in the story had. Because faith is not believing that God can, but knowing that He will! 

This article is written for the Souvenir of the Silver Jubilee Celebration of my parish. 

Also writing this post for Day 23 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. 

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