Matthew 9:29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you.”
Faith can be a tricky thing. The way some preachers teach, some people come away with faith in faith, rather than faith in God. That leads to people discarding faith completely, and that is tragic. Faith itself, regardless of the object, can sometimes do some remarkable things. Our bodies are integrated wholes, and our thoughts and emotions have huge influence over everything else. Science is discovering the impact various hormones, such as endorphins, have on us, and current cancer research is particularly focused on teaching/persuading the immune system to attack the cancer, rather than using either surgery or chemotherapy. There’s even research on the subject of our regenerating lost or damaged body parts. That said, there are many things we can’t do on our own, and that’s actually a good thing. We exist because of the grace, love, and creativity of God, and when we forget that we get into deep trouble. Faith by itself is indeed powerful, but it is only faith in our omnipotent God that accomplishes the truly miraculous. I have read of a Christian nurse in an emergency room where a little girl was brought in who had fallen face-first into a campfire. The girl’s eyeballs were lumps of charcoal. The nurse, almost without thinking, placed her hands on the girl’s eyes and asked God for new eyes. When she took her hands away, the girl indeed had perfect eyes. She still had severe burns on her face, but God had granted a creative miracle. That is faith, not in faith but in the God who created us and who loves us perfectly.
As I wrote I was reminded of a Southern Gospel song that says, “Prayer is the key to heaven, but faith unlocks the door.” I couldn’t begin to count how many times I’ve heard prayers that had no faith behind them. For that matter, I couldn’t count how many times I’ve prayed such prayers! I haven’t seen many certifiable “miracles,” but I’ve seen a few, and I’ve seen countless instances of God answering believing prayer of all sorts. At the same time, I’ve learned the importance of praying as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane, with honest passion but leaving the issue in God’s hands. “Not as I will but as You will” (Matthew 26:39) is a prayer that gives God permission to do even better than we have asked. I respectfully disagree with those who claim that is a cop-out. Jesus didn’t use cop-outs! I need to follow two Old Testament examples: the three young men in Babylon (Daniel 3:16-18) and the prophet Habakkuk. (Habakkuk 3:17-19) My faith should not be dependent on temporal circumstances, but on my eternal, infinite God.
Father, thank You for this reminder. It’s rather pointed, considering the level of pain Cathy is enduring on a daily basis. I know that You are more than able to correct the problem with her spine, and every other problem as well, and I honestly don’t know why that hasn’t happened so far. I do ask Your very best for her, as I ask it for this church and for everyone in it. May Your Name be hallowed indeed and Your kingdom come, as Your will is done for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!