“Lord, I believe: help my unbelief.” Mark 9:24
Can faith really heal? Can wholly trusting the Lord, having absolute faith that He will heal, or produce a miracle, really yield that positive result?
My minister husband and I were just discussing this, and by the end of the conversation, it sure did seem like 100% faith is the source of miracles.
We all have issues – some are major, some minor, but we’ve all got ’em – and, being religious folk (by definition, since we’re reading this blog), we probably all pray about them at some time or other. If our prayers don’t yield the result we want, is it because we didn’t pray hard enough? Is it because not enough people prayed for this particular cause? Is it a critical mass thing, where if you have 9 people praying for you, ah, shucks, sorry, no luck, but if you’ve got that 10th, well, there you go, that’s your ticket! I highly doubt it; I can’t believe that could possibly be so,… but I am pausing to wonder. Maybe I’m wrong? (No, surely not! The Lord is more merciful than that! ….Right??)
The Writings might lead us to believe that miracles are not actually happening, these days:
The question is asked today why miracles are not wrought as in times past, for it is believed that if they were to be performed everyone would be fully convinced. Miracles, however, are not wrought at this day as formerly, for they have a compelling influence, and destroy free will in spiritual things, and cause a man from being spiritual to become natural. (True Christian Religion 501)
(-Or, perhaps, weren’t happening at the time that the Writings were written, in the 18th century.)
But then, there is a compelling statement that they are happening, but not overtly:
The Divine miracles which take place today are not manifest, but hidden. (Miracles and Signs 18)
– So it allows that miracles not only can but do occur, just not blatantly obvious ones, like maybe the turning of water into wine kind. But maybe healing a body of cancer, maybe that does happen? (Some would say it most certainly does – just Google it, you’ll see.)
So, if we proceed in agreement that mircales do occur: is it because the people praying for those miracles really do believe with every fibre of their being that the Lord WILL produce this miracle? – Do we have to go into it with the assumption that it WILL occur? That feels backwards to me, but that may be because I really don’t have the faith I need to see these things in my own life. I feel like a pretty good person, like I live a good life and am relatively highly evolved on the goodness scale – I try to will good for everyone, to do things for other people’s benefit just because it will benefit them,….. and it jars me to think that I’m not good enough. That’s entirely my ego speaking, I realise; and it was my ego I was protecting, I guess, when I prayed for more babies but was too afraid to really trust all the way that it WOULD happen? (Darned ego!!) Coincidentally (not!), I just heard a commentary on my Christian radio station about ‘not feeling worthy’, and that immediately reminded me that we are foolish to think that we aren’t worthy, that we aren’t good enough! We are God’s creations – He certainly didn’t make any of us sub-par! We’re doubting Him if we think we aren’t worthy. There’s still room for improvement on our part, there always is, but it seems to me that since He made us, we ARE worthy.
We know lots of good, God-fearing people who live really good lives, who are struggling with MAJOR health issues. I am going to go out on a limb and say that they’re probably sending up lots of prayers to the Lord to help them through their respective processes. If they don’t make it through, if they don’t get better, is that because they didn’t believe that they actually would, in the first place? Did they not have enough people praying for them? –’Cause I’ve seen it on Facebook, these people have a LOT of people praying for them! What if some of those people have the faith that they will be healed, but others don’t; is there a critical mass necessary, for that, too?…
The question also arises, for me, about this ‘Thy will be done’ business. I’ve sometimes felt that I shouldn’t pray for more babies because that’s just selfish, and because, if the Lord wills it, it will happen, and that my prayers won’t affect the outcome. That’s probably one of the glitches, right there: I was too lackadaisical about it, too blasé? I did pray for His will to be done, kind of along the lines of “Please, Lord, give me another baby, if it be Thy will” or “Please, Lord, help me to be happy with the outcome, whatever it may be.” Maybe I wasn’t specific enough?….
When it comes down to it, I can – with great sadness – acknowledge and admit that I did not pray with the pure faith that the Lord would give me more babies. …Maybe that’s why I didn’t get them? Biology aside – because it’s all about the spirit, in the end, after all – if I had possessed the trust that He WOULD provide, perhaps I’d be living a different life, right now. Huh; it’s something to think about. – But then, I feel that I can confidently say that I didn’t, I don’t doubt that He CAN do these things! I doubt whether these things will take place, but I don’t doubt that He CAN do them. ….So does that mean that I’m questioning whether He wants to do them? He wants the best for all of us, He doesn’t want us to be hurt or sad at all! So He wants us to have these things, doesn’t He? And, taking it a step further, thinking about the term “will”: earlier I used it, saying ‘Can having absolute faith that He will produce a miracle really yield that positive result?’, to mean the certainty that something would happen – but if we look back at the origin of the word, it really refers to volition: so is the point really to have absolute faith that He wants to produce a miracle?
…Boy, I’m really gaining a much clearer understanding, and deeper appreciation, for what it means to have a ‘crisis of faith’ and to ‘take a leap of faith’. This is heavy stuff!
What do you think?