Have you ever felt ineligible for a miracle? I have.
In fact, I feel this way right now.
All my life, I’ve grown up with the belief that God can (and still does) intervene in human lives in ways that we have no clear explanation for. There have been people who have been blind then suddenly began to see moving shadows. Some of these people eventually ended up with their full vision restored, leaving their eye doctors baffled. Some people have been suffering from aggressive medical tumors and terminal infections have later lived to tell about how they were completely healed for the next 50 years. These stories are by no means confined to religious observers. Many of those who do not identify as religious have also experienced physical and mental healing. As a result of their perceived second chance at life these individual often become quite religious or turn their life in a more positive direction as a thank you to the universe.
I believe that strange and wonderful things like a stage 4 cancer patient becoming cancer free and a lame person walking again isn’t IMPOSSIBLE.
So, in my need of a miracle, why don’t I want to believe I will receive one?
As a Pentecostal, I have heard countless religious testimonies of Brother/Sister So-and-So who fasted and prayed to God for such-and-such healing, and later received it!
I’ve also had to sit through and watch a few Brother/Sister So-and-So’s grieve and mourn when physical healing did not come in this life.
So as I write this, I don’t know why I feel like I can pray and pray, and God
won’t grant me my wish.
Oh. I see.
I’ve been feeling ineligible for a miracle because I don’t want to be disappointed.
My rational self reasons:
I’ll pray, but i’ll tread lightly just in case God doesn’t come through the way I hope God will. That way if I’m not granted the miracle i’m praying for, I won’t be too disappointed. If I do receive the miracle, I can then be “pleasantly surprised!”
Do you hear the control freak/ planner in me?
Blogging and writing thoughts down with the intention that others would read is bringing a certain truthfulness and accountability to what’s happening in me right now. Truth is, I’m trying to passive-aggressively control God because I feel like everything else in my life is out of my control. By withholding or offering certain prayers to God, I’m trying to place God on MY terms.
I am very human, hurt, scared, and in need of some help in my faith walk. I’m limping hard core right now and YES, I need a Jesus-Crutch.
What does a Jesus-Crutch look like for me? It looks like leaning unto a faith that I do not feel like I have right now. Everyone keeps telling me, “HAVE FAITH, BELIEVE!” I really want to, but i’m tired. I need the Holy Spirit to meet me where I’m at in my little pathetic grumbling, hold me up by my arm pits, and help me walk into the next doctor’s appointment. Why do I need it? Because I’m a hot, angry, self-torturing, faithless, controlling mess without it.
Two Bible Stories that come to mind is King David and the death of his baby with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12) and King Hezekiah’s recovery from a terminal illness (Isaiah 38). Both of these stories involved a prediction of death from God, delivered by a prophet. Both of these stories involved servants of God who prayed and believed in the mercy of God. Both of these ended very differently, yet both maintained a steadfast hope in the sovereignty of God to hear and respond.
How, then, are we to respond to the tension of living in the uncertainty of David’s son’s death and Hezekiah’s healing?
The only thing that I know to do (however DIFFICULT) is to pray three prayers, “Help, Thanks, Wow” (Thanks, Anne Lamott).
In Christ, I can affirm that we are NEVER outside of God’s Miracle Eligibility. Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus we have become LEGALLY and Spiritually eligible for EVERY promise of God is scripture (i’ll explain why I believe the atonement began and continued to happen way before and after the cross in a later post). Jesus came that we may have life to the fullest, for in him every one of God’s promises is a “Yes.”
Are any among you suffering? Pray. Are any cheerful? Sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? Call for the elders of the church and have them pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.
Isn’t this such an encouraging post? Aw, nice. I’ll probably have to come back and read my own words tomorrow when I need a reminder.
In the mean time..
God, HELP me to give over my fears, doubts, and thoughts to you. They are killing me quicker than any sickness.
THANKS for hearing my prayers for healing and for not holding my doubtful manipulation against me.
WOW. I am amazed by your grace and the peace I’m feeling right now. I am amazed by how you were present with me at the hospital today.