When life cashes in on your "no matter what" faith...

There's a guy I know, we grew up in church together.  He loves Jesus.  He has been a man of faith and comes from a line of faith.  His "no matter what" faith was tested when his daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor. 

I have a friend who is a teacher, loves to laugh at the same stuff I do, and she is a dedicated servant heart girl for Jesus with a loving all-American family. Her "no matter what faith" got called out when her son was diagnosed with a brain tumor. 

In 1993, I prayed for a friend as my mom drove me to a new college as I began a new chapter in life.  He answered.  That day I met a lifer, a friend in faith.  In 2010 her "no matter what" faith was challenged when she was diagnosed with colon cancer. 

I have a friend whose husband lost his job while they were in the process of adopting a child from China. Her "no matter what" faith was called out and taken to the mattresses. 

I have friend who is in her second honeymoon phase of life has taken on being a caregiver for her aging parents.  Her "no matter what" faith is exhausted but steady. 

A friend I went to school and church with growing up married and began her family.   They experienced the crushing heartbreak of losing a precious baby nearly full term.  Their "no matter what" faith was pressed down and shaken.

I have a friend, no several, who have had to dig deep and employ their "no matter what" faith in their marriages. 

I have a new friend whose countenance just glowed with love and friendship when I met her.  Her "no matter what" faith has been called out.  Her only son, a soul winner for Christ, was taken from this life 3 nights ago. 

When life is normal, difficult at times but yet normal, it seems like the obvious and minimal act of love to give Yahweh our "no matter what" faith and love.  How good to be so purposed and decided while we are right minded and sure.  

I just cannot imagine the effort of simply breathing in the sudden devastation that life on earth can bring.  These friends, these heroes of faith, have had to live-are living-will continue to live a no matter what faith...when it was their darkest hour they were held. 

All but my last friend listed have time and distance between them and their never the same again moment.  They will never be the same.  Their normal is new.  The life ahead is worlds away from the former lives they led.  I am amazed and overflowing with love for these dear people when I think about the miracle of faith worked through them and their circumstances.  I know they would tell you Jesus was enough. He is real.  They were loved and had peace when it made no sense that peace could be had.  That their strength was their hope, their joy in their Lord.  That the scars remind them of the event when their no matter what faith was called out.  They would tell you His word is true and it does not return void; that Jehovah keeps His promises.  They'd tell you He is good...ALL the time...that He is working in ways we cannot understand, that His plan is good and His heart is for us.  They would tell you that somehow, miraculously, He takes charred ashes and remains of life and creates beauty and restores. 

Life demands much from us at times, sometimes more than we can bear.  He is greater.  His love has conquered the grave.  His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  He will never leave or forsake His own.  No matter what.