What Is Faith – Part 3

During the past couple of weeks, I have been listening to a sermon series on “Faith”.  My plan for the article for today was to continue writing out my thoughts and summaries of what I was learning from this sermon series.  But something incredible happened this week that I just have to share with all of you. It is a story about how pure and persistent faith can overcome the obstacles that stand in our way.

This story concerns my younger son Glen, and is the answer to prayers that we have been praying for many, many months. In a previous article ( which you can read here), I wrote about this strong desire that my son has had to be able to join the Canadian military, specifically the Army. And finally, two days ago, Glen found out that he had in fact been selected and will head off to Boot Camp as soon as they phone him and tell him what those dates are.

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To appreciate the magnitude of how great an answer to prayer this is, I will need to go back and give you a lot of the background details that led up to this moment. It was while our family was working in Africa in 2006 and ’07 that our son first entertained the idea seriously about joining the military. When we came back from Africa, and while Glen was doing his last year of high school, he was involved with the Army reserves.

He found that fascinating and really enjoyed those weekends when they would go out on squad exercises, but it was too difficult to manage schooling and involvement with the military at the same time. So he put the idea of the Army to the side, finished high school, and then went on and completed a year of Bible college.

As soon as he finished that one year certificate though, he went down and immediately applied to join the Regular Forces of the Army. There was the normal bureaucratic hoops and paper trails during that summer of 09, but by September, Glen was offered the opportunity to join at that time. And he knew that this was what he wanted, but part of him felt that he was not quite ready and so he passed up that invitation.

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One year later, our son was not only a year older, but just a little bit more ready to enter into the world of the military. He was told that he needed to start his application again, and all of us were quite surprised to find that there was a job freeze on the military and that he would be put on a waiting list. This began the long road and test of faith for all of us.

Now I want to pick up the story from my perspective as a father. When Glen first started talking about joining the military, as a parent I naturally felt very concerned and worried for him. After having many talks with him, and after much thought and prayer, I arrived at the place where I felt okay about his desire. In fact, there came a day that God not only gave me peace about this decision, but also a conviction and assurance that this was the right thing for Glen to do.

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Over this past winter and spring, all of us in the family were actively praying that God would open up the door again for our son to be accepted back into the military. And every time that I talked with Glen, both of us felt that we needed to believe that it would happen, even though it seemed like all the odds were against it happening.

It seemed like every time that Glen would phone the military, he would get different answers as to whether there were positions available are not. Then about two months ago, we got our hopes up when Glen was called in for an interview (which went well) and he also passed the medical exam. But weeks went by and there was no news.

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Finally, it looked like a breakthrough when a few weeks ago he was told that he was on the “Merit List”. The next thing we heard was that there were 80 applicants for the remaining 20 positions. What an emotional roller coaster we were all on, but again, we stubbornly chose by faith to believe that God would open the door and allow Glen to be selected.

Then I remembered something that I had just heard and written about in last week’s article on faith. The speaker, Leon Fontaine, presented the idea that there are obstacles (i.e. mountains) in our lives, and that by faith we should speak, literally speak against these mountains to be removed. Again, this is not the idea of using words like magical incantations. But rather, it is a bold proclamation coming out from within of the faith that you hold to be true.

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And so, when they told us last week that this Tuesday was going to be the final day of selection, I felt empowered and emboldened within my spirit to lay claim to the biblical promise of Psalm 37:4, “Delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I knew that Glen had committed his ways to the Lord, and I also knew that God had given me in the past the peace and the conviction that Glen should join the military.

Throughout the morning of Tuesday then, I not only prayed to God, but I prayed out loud to God to let this be the day that Glen would be accepted. What a great relief and joy I felt then, when Glen phoned at two o’clock in the afternoon to let me know that yes indeed, he had been one of the 20 who were selected to be accepted.

All I can say now is, “Thank you, thank you God!”  Just like the parable of the persistent widow, You showed us once again that when we have persistent faith in You, faith is rewarded.

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