Monday, October 31, 2011

O Ye of Little Faith

Photo Copyright 2011 Alycia W. Morales
My children (especially the oldest three) have started to debate everything I ever tell them. Maybe you recognize this conversation:

Me: You need to wear your jacket today. It's winter temperatures outside with the wind blowing.
My son (who's wearing a t-shirt): I'll be all right.
Me: You're going to a football game, and then you're going on a hayride tonight. You're going to be colder tonight than you will be this afternoon.
My son: I'm fine.
Me: Get your jacket.
Half an hour later, we're in the truck, driving to the football game. I've pulled out of the driveway and am heading down the hill.
Me: Son, where's your jacket?
My son: I don't need it.
Me (as I turn the truck around): Yes, you do need it.
My son (who is sitting hunched over, rubbing his arms): Okay.
We pull into the driveway. I'm about to get out of the truck when he says: It's in the back with my school stuff.
I turn the truck around. We get to the football game. It's not in the trunk. He freezes during the football game and tries to wrap himself in the throw blanket I brought to keep my legs warm, which I ended up using over my entire body, because the wind was biting through my layers.
Me: Son, are you going to believe me the next time I tell you to wear a jacket because it's winter weather?
My son: Yes, Mom.
Me: I am a bit older and wiser than you are. Do you think I know well enough what you need?
My son: Yes, Mom. (He smiles and snuggles into my side.)
How often do our children mock us and ignore us when we tell them to do something that will benefit them or keep them healthy? Too often.

I read Luke chapter 8 this morning. Look what God spoke to me during that time:

"When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go in except Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the girl.
Now all wept and mourned for her, but He said, 'Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.'
And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead.
But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, 'Little girl, arise.'
Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat.
And her parents were astonished, but He charged them to tell no one what had happened."
- Luke 8:51-56 

No one was allowed in the home, except a few of Jesus' disciples and the girls' parents. They wept and mourned for their daughter, but when Jesus told them not to weep, for she wasn't dead, they ridiculed Him.

Jesus had to kick the parents out of their home while He healed their daughter. It says, "He put them all outside." So now, only Jesus is in the home with the girl. Why? Because they did what our children (and sometimes we) do. We ridicule in unbelief. "Yeah, right, like You can do that for me, Jesus."

God oftentimes will reveal His plan and purpose for our lives. He'll show us an area where He wants to heal us. He'll send a prophet to read our mail and deliver an answer direct from heaven. He'll stick one sentence in the midst of a sermon that was meant just for us to receive. He'll open up a scripture in the midst of our daily reading so we can hear His direction or His voice.

But we sit there thinking, "No, that must be for someone else." "Why do I deserve that?" "He can't possibly perform that miracle in my life." "There's no way..." We look at the physical situations and forget that there's a spiritual principle in play.

I watch people with seemingly permanent illnesses struggle for month-after-month, wondering why they won't allow God to heal them. They go to doctor after doctor, specialist after specialist, and they take drug after drug. And yet Jesus healed many throughout His ministry here on Earth. If God's word says He changes not, why would His desire or ability to heal change? 

What stands out to me in the healing scriptures is a very simple phrase: "Your faith has made you well. Go in peace." It's used earlier in the same chapter of Luke when the woman with the issue of blood touches Jesus' hem. She'd been to every doctor she could, taken all of their human remedies, and yet she remained in her illness. Until she touched Jesus. Until she reached out for His healing power. And then she was made well. It was her faith that healed her. She didn't doubt that Jesus could remove her blood flow far from her. She didn't doubt He had the power to raise the dead, to remove death from her body. She desired life inside of her.

The same principle applies to every situation we face, whether it is physical, emotional, mental, financial, etc.

I've faced many issues throughout my lifetime. I struggled with depression as a teenager/young adult. For years I allowed the enemy to keep me from experiencing joy. I've seen depression try to invade my thoughts again recently, as well. But I've come to recognize it as a hindrance to my faith. The enemy would love to keep me locked up in my own devices, struggling to break my mind free of its chains while my heart desperately longs for Jesus. But I refuse to give him ground in my life. I turn to the Word of God, pick up my shield of faith, don the helmet of salvation, gird my waist with the belt of Truth, and I pull out the sword that cuts through soul (mind) and spirit, joints and marrow, and discerns the thoughts and intents of my heart. I give my account to God and proclaim His Truth in my life.

I've also suffered from migraines since I was a teen. Yet my headaches have recently become fewer and with far more time in between. Why? Because I prayed and asked God to end them. And in the meantime, I've taken the steps I know I need to take to avoid them. I acknowledge when my body is getting run down and take a break. I rest. I avoid MSG. I know what triggers them. I drink decaffeinated coffee, because the caffeine in regular coffee brings on a three day headache that no med will touch, shy of a steroid shot. (And I don't want that junk in my body, either.) I don't smoke (I did as a teen and college student, then quit). I drink plenty of fluids, mostly water, to keep myself properly hydrated. And when a big storm rolls in, I take some sinus medicine to help with the pressure it brings. But I believe that God has healed me, and I suffer fewer headaches now.

Your faith will make you well. The question is, how bad do you want it? And will you argue with God that it isn't possible, like the parents in Luke 8? "Obviously, she's dead. It's not possible to bring her back to life." Will God have to put you out in order to bring healing? I hope not. I hope you are encouraged today to take a stand against whatever situation you are facing in your life that holds you back from Jesus and His perfect will for your life. 

1 comment:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts here at My Thoughtful Spot! I love hearing them!