“Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, be lifted up and thrown into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him. Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours.” ~ Mark 11:23-24
For me, the new year started out with a full-blown miracle. I felt for a few weeks that I was supposed to pray for my roommate’s mother. She has Alzheimer’s, so that was my natural starting point when it came to praying for her. But when I prayed over the disease, God actually said to stop. I was missing something. She needed prayer, but not for the Alzheimer’s. I didn’t know where to go with that exactly, so I said a few vague prayers for her and then sort of stopped. A week or so later, we got a call from the nursing home where she lives, saying she had a discoloration on her foot and it was melanoma. Like any self-centered person, I blamed myself when I heard about this. “God, if I had prayed harder when you told me I should, I could have saved her from this.” Again, God said stop. Because again, I had missed the point. God wanted me to pray hard now.
Back then, when I first felt the need to pray, I only had half the story. And you know what? God planned it that way. Because a healing like that, removing a tumor and essentially healing cancer, required complete and total faith in my Savior. I needed to ask and truly believe beyond a shadow of doubt that He could and would answer my prayer. And He helped me get there by telling me to pray before I actually had to. Why? So that when the time came, He could tell me “I’ve got this. If I weren’t going to answer your prayer, I wouldn’t have told you to ask.” He told me to ask at a time when I wasn’t even sure what I was asking for…if He’d waited til the diagnosis came, I couldn’t be sure that it was God telling me, or just me reacting to the bad news. The way He planned it though, I knew the call to prayer came from God Himself. God gave me a safeguard, and a proof that He would answer my prayer. So, I prayed. Though I was asking for a miracle, I prayed with more faith than I ever have. I didn’t just want Him to, I knew that God would work a healing – because He’d told me ahead of time. Sure enough, when she had a follow-up appointment, the tumor had become nothing more than a blood blister. God promised a miracle, and then He delivered one.
Needless to say, after the news of the healing, God was on my mind a lot. Two days later, I went on a shopping trip, just running normal errands for the household. I was walking into the store when I felt His presence. Before I could even think, the words were out of my mouth: “Hi Jesus! Thanks for coming shopping with me.” Anybody passing by would’ve thought that I was talking to an imaginary friend. He wasn’t there for any reason, He had nothing profound to tell me. He was just joining me for the sake of spending time with me. My heart had been focused on Him almost exclusively for two days, and so He came to hang out with me.
With this happening, I started wondering what I’d done to deserve these blessings. Anybody who knows me knows that I’m not the most faithful Christian ever. I trust my God, but I have moments of doubt. I’m not the most submissive or obedient follower. Like I said earlier, I have a tendency not to act on what God tells me. I’m hesitant. So why bless me? Especially with blessings this big?
Simple. It’s not about me. It’s not what I think or who I am. It’s who God is. He promises us that He is there to provide for us, if we ask Him in faith. Those nagging doubts, those thoughts of “what if He doesn’t answer?”, “what if I’m wrong?”, are what stand between us and God’s little miracles blessing us every day. No problem here on Earth is bigger than our God who created it. In theory, maybe we all know that. But do we truly believe it, each and every time we come before God and pray? Logic says, and the world would have us believe, that miracles don’t happen – only coincidences. If you know God, you know better than that. But the world has jussst enough pull with us to linger in our brains. Those lingering thoughts can be crippling to our relationship with Him, and we need to let go of them to pray in true faith.
As my journey to being Rebekah takes off, God is calling me to be in this place of faith. He’s calling me to shut those quiet, lingering doubts off, and submit them to Him – yup, I can even give Him my doubt and He can take care of that too! Because He’s merciful, and knew I’d need help with this, He proved it first. I won’t always be so lucky – I’ll be called to trust Him when I have no tangible evidence that He wants to answer my prayer. I’ll have to move on faith alone. But I will always have this testimony, this proof that God can do mighty and miraculous things when I believe Him for it and put all of my trust in Him. So I invite you to take this leap with me. On your toughest days, He is right by your side waiting for you to truly believe that He is bigger than your breakup, bigger than your stressful test, bigger than a fight with your boss. Whether He blesses you with a miracle or simply comforts you in a tough time, trust that He can get you through it, and He will. He’ll even help you to trust Him. You just saw how He helped me!