We are told to have faith like a child. I’d never really seen this put into practice until I met someone named Jake. Everything he does, he does with his entire self; When he became a Christian, this trait of whole-heartedness carried over. Jake’s faith in God, more complete than any child’s in Santa, is a constant challenge and encouragement to me.
Over spring break, a friend told me of how Jake had prayed for healing for a student in his youth group, and he was healed. My immediate response: skepticism. Oh, I’ve read the stories about healing in the Bible and heard about it, but God just doesn’t move in that obvious of ways anymore, right? My friend, the doubt evident upon my face, assured me of her similar initial reaction. But, later that week, seeing a hurting woman, Jake asked if he could pray for her (awkward right?). The next day, she saw him and, guess what, she was feeling better. Jake remarked that his faith was so small, his view of God so stunted, that he hadn’t really expected God to heal the woman; that his small faith had tried to put God in a box.
Compared to mine, Jake’s faith is immense. Through expectant and humble prayer and child-like faith in a colossal God, he eased suffering, showing those around him the incredible healing aspect of Jesus Christ.
Since late August of last year, I have been plagued by a persistent migraine; countless tests and several doctors led to no results and no relief. All that time, prayer for healing never occurred to me. Partially because of pride, but also because I doubted God’s ability and want to heal me. I didn’t think that God moved in the world like that, at least not in the U.S.
Sharing the story of Jake’s faithful prayers for healing with a friend caused her to wonder why we hadn’t done something as simple as praying for my healing. I attempted to brush it off to the side, dismissing the idea. Yet, she persisted. Giving in after a few days, I gave in, allowing for her and two others to pray for me. I thought of Jake’s prayers and decided to cling to the possibility that after seven months, God might alleviate the constant pain I had been in.
A month after that prayer, there have been four days when I have not been pain-free. He answered. Throughout the entirety of my pain, God was not withholding health from me for no reason; He waited until I understood something of paramount importance. Faith in Him, no matter how small, is essential for change and healing in not only our walk with the Lord, but also our life. No redemption, life-change, or healing will ever be accomplished by me personally, rather the Spirit, enabled by faith, working within me. All it took to end months of pain was a quiet but expectant prayer, done with as much faith as could be mustered. My faith was small, minuscule even, but Jesus said, “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”