After my son, Steven, needed a new kidney, I blamed myself for years. I hated myself for not praying enough or believing enough for a miracle. I agonized that Steven would have been spared if only I had had the right attitude.

It was all my fault. I hadn’t had enough faith. Every story that I read about Jesus healing as a response to someone’s faith was like salt in an open wound.

Then one day I remembered Paul. In 2 Corinthians 12:8-9, Paul talks about the thorn in his flesh. It says basically that the Lord chose not to remove it. Paul’s answer to his prayers was: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Paul believed. Paul had faith. Paul was arguably the greatest apostle. Yet he had a thorn in his flesh. We don’t know what that issue was; I don’t think we are meant to, because that thorn could be any number of things for any of us.

We will have thorns, whether we have faith or not. Our faith needs to rest on God’s loving grace. It’s the miracle of grace that moves in and through our lives despite the thorns. I wish I had space here to tell you the many ways God’s grace has manifested itself.

God gave us the miracle of a kidney transplant. Steven is now a robust, active and hearty 20-year-old. God’s grace worked through the medical team assigned to us, through the love and concern of our church family and community, and through the medicines and care Steven receives to this day.

I share this quote by St. Teresa of Avila: “Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which to look out Christ's compassion to the world. Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now.”

"On Faith" is a weekly column in the News-Chronicle written by area religious leaders. Belle Westman is the pastor of Bassett Community Church in Brimson.