Live by Faith
Faith is so vital to our walk with Christ. Sometimes we don’t really realize where we are in our faith until it’s been tested. The Daniel family went through a trial not too long ago as we prepared to come to Spencerport. We put our house up for sale by owner in mid-April. We ended up showing it to two different couples that week, one of which put in an offer the following week!
We were so excited! I remember tearing up on my way home because of the weight that was lifted off me simply by having the hope of everything going through! I knew it was the beginning of a long process, but we were happy to be in the process. So, step by step, we eventually had the contract signed and approved by the banks which took about three to four weeks, taking us to the end of May. Then the appraisal took place at the beginning of June, with an inspection scheduled for mid-June. We had a closing date of July 1, which was perfect timing.
Again, things were going according to plan. With a good appraisal and what seemed to be a positive inspection, we were sure that God had put this all together for us. It may seem a little silly, but we even found some affirmation in the call to Spencerport. On June 20th, a week and a half before our closing date, I get the call. “Hello?” “Hey, Jason, it’s Steve. I got some bad news. I don’t think we’ll be going through with the deal.” My heart sank. It was as if the wind had been taken from our sails in a matter of a minute. There we were, stuck in the middle of a situation where we had no idea what we were going to do. I tried to negotiate and set up a meeting with the buyers, but things didn’t seem to line up. It was in those moments that I felt the uncertainty develop into anxiety that led to us becoming afraid about the future.
Here I am, a pastor who’s supposed to be equipping others to live by faith, but instead I was wrestling with my own doubt. See, I knew in some objective or cognitive way that this was going to work out. But internally, I was shaken with the emotions that stem from doubt.
“This is it!”… I thought. “They’re backing out and we won’t be able to sell this house before we go! What am I going to do? How are we going to pay this mortgage, cost of landscaping and electric that we can’t afford? We’ll have to take a huge hit on the sale of the house in order to cover an agent’s fees.” All of these thoughts mixed with the “why, God?” questions we had. It led us to our knees to pray for what seemed like a miracle.
We asked others to pray for a change of heart within our buyers, and many did. I personally started to give up on the hope for them to come around. I gave one last-ditch effort for them to take the weekend to consider our lowest offer on the house, fully expecting them to say “No” on Monday morning.
Well, Monday came around. I got a call with that familiar number. I answered and waited for the final blow. “Hello?” “Jason, it’s Steve.” I paused in preparation and it stayed quiet for a few seconds. Finally, Steve broke the silence with, “It’s a go!! We’ll take the house.” Still in disbelief I repeated “It’s a go? You’ll take the house?!” At first, I still didn’t believe it, but then the truth settled in. God had us in the palm of His hand the whole time. As I reflected on the five or six days of that emotional roller coaster, I have to be honest with you… I was a little ashamed.
I was ashamed of how little faith I had going through the doubt. But here’s the neat thing about that... when my faith was overshadowed by my circumstances, the faith of others around us carried us through. It took the faith of others who believed God would bring those buyers back to pray prayers of faith for that to actually happen. I prayed for that at first, but then I doubted it would take place. In my doubt, I started preparing for the worst instead of trusting God for His best. I believe our Heavenly Father allowed us to go through this trial for a reason.
I think this story was meant to be shared so that He would get the glory for being faithful to us even when our faith waivered. I also believe God wants us to know that when we pray, He hears our prayers. Your prayers of faith are important, especially for those who may not have the faith to believe what you believe for them! I praise God that we belong to a family of faith who stood in the gap when all we could do is wait to see how God would come through for us. Even as we go through seasons of doubt and circumstances that try to rob us of our hope, I pray that God gets the glory for His faithfulness to us as we all continue to live by faith.