"I have been thinking about the last time we spoke, and I have come to the conclusion that I haven't any 'faith' in God. Don't get me wrong--I believe in His existence, but . . . I really don't know what I'm trying to say . . . "
It had been three days since Jerry's visit to the eye specialist; three long days of an awareness of a sense of guilt, to a point where he felt he couldn't face God in prayer.
"I'm sorry to call you at dinner time, but this is really starting to bother me."
Edwin assured him that he was pleased to hear from him any time of the day or night.
"Jerry, there are different types of faith. In the past you denied God's existence, then you became aware of Him as a Creator, yet all that time He has been intimately aware of you, despite your lack of faith in Him. For example, even the hairs of your head are numbered. He knows your 'down‑sitting' and your 'up‑rising,' and He's acquainted with all your ways. In fact, there is not a word on your tongue that He doesn't 'know altogether.' Before you were formed in the womb, He knew you. You are not just some evolutionary species without rhyme or reason.
"After you left, I did a quick study of the meaning of your name, which has real significance. It shows how God’s hand is upon every one of us. This is what my book of names and their meanings said: 'Jeremiah Adamson-‑Jehovah will exalt‑son of Adam.'"
"God may have even used you for His purposes in the past without you having the slightest awareness of it. No Jeremiah, your lack of faith doesn’t make any difference to the faithfulness of God . . ."
Jerry interrupted, "When I made my ‘decision,’ I had some sort of faith. I really tried to believe that God would heal Connie, but that became overwhelmed with anger and bitterness when she grew worse. Now there's just nothing there."
"Jerry, the 'faith' the Bible speaks of in regards to salvation is more than an intellectual resolution. It's not merely a matter of asking Jesus Christ into your heart, but what the Bible calls 'repentance towards God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.'
"Jesus warned that many would seek to enter into the Kingdom of God and 'would not be able.' He said to strive to enter the straight gate . . . that means to agonize to get in."
Jerry then said,
"I appreciate what you are saying, but I still feel confused; and I still have this anger about Connie's death."
"That will go in time. Jerry, I don't profess to have all the answers or to know the mind of God, but one thing I have seen again and again is that suffering has a way of humbling the proud human heart. The prophet Jeremiah said of the Jews who suffered,'The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness.' Sometimes the only prayer we offer ourCreator is 'Why?' The wilderness of the life and the sword of tribulation brings us to our knees. It looks like God’s hand is on you Jerry.”
To be continued...