I believe, I believe. I know it's silly, but I believe....
Anyone who's seen the original Miracle on 34th Street will recognize little Susan in their minds' eyes, repeating those very words near the film's conclusion, slumped against her car seat, wallowing in disappointment.
The irony is that despite what her mouth says, her heart doesn't believe it until the very moment that she sees her big desire come to fruition in the physical world. She was one lucky girl to have her wishy washy belief confirmed in such can't-miss-it fashion.
In a way, I'm envious of Susan's miracle. I used to think all the time that if I could just take Logan back to Jesus' day, I'd do everything within my power to be sure that my sunshine could lay a finger on the hem of His cloak. I longed for that. Yearned for it. But of course, it won't happen because that was 2,000 years ago. And there's not a big point in wasting a lot of precious time gnashing my teeth over what I wish I could do but can't. After all, God knows me. He knows that I wish I could go back in time. So that leaves me with the present.
The thing that gets me most about Susan's miracle is that it was granted despite rampant unbelief. How awesome is that? Even though in her heart she didn't really believe the words she was saying, the one thing she wanted more than anything was given to her. I think that's how God works, too.
I know, I just fell off that turnip truck again. Check for bruises next time you see me out and about. The crux of what I mean here is that we can never do anything to earn miracles or blessings or good things. It doesn't matter how much we pray or beg or whine or yearn or paint ourselves with ashes and don sackcloth. God does good things for us even though we don't deserve them.
The caveat? In a way, and I'm still seeking on this so bear with me, I think we do have to cast off unbelief in order to fully receive. Think of it this way. Let's say you're super hungry and you go out to eat. You order a big, juicy steak and it's placed in front of you, cooked to perfection and surrounded by a sumptuous heap of creamy mashed potatoes. You start to dig in and then remember you left your teeth at home. D'oh. There's this huge, beautiful plate of food in front of you, but you can't indulge in anything but the potatoes --which are good, but not the main course-- because you aren't fully equipped to receive. Allowing yourself to be dominated by unbelief is like leaving your teeth at home: You get a little bit of the big blessing, but deny yourself the meat of the meal.
We've seen truly remarkable things happen with Logan over the past 17 months. If you're new to this blog, I think I speak honestly --and long-timers can correct me if you so desire-- when I say that some uncanny and supernaturally bizarre things have occurred as we've traveled a path to healing.
Still, despite those experiences, I've been dogged by unbelief in its most aggressive and primal form. Fear, worry, hopelessness, doubt wake me up at night and threaten my hope and faith. It's not that unbelief has prevented Logan from receiving, because he clearly has --he's still here, after all, and against some pretty strong odds-- but I would wager that unbelief --from all sorts of sources-- may have prevented him from receiving the FULL and COMPLETE blessing of healing from God.
I believe that God wants Logan to be healed on this earth. I believe that He has a plan and a purpose for that little boy beyond just five years. I don't believe that evil wages war on people who aren't, for one reason or another, important to the Kingdom of God. I also believe that Christians --and people of faith in general-- tend to shy away from praying with expectation. Moreso, I believe that we're a culture steeped in unbelief. Why else would we fail to pray with expectation that we will receive that for which we ask? Because it's easier to just utter 'Thy will be done' than it is to really engage with God.
I should say that I don't think that we can cause God to do anything. Our prayers won't knock Him off his throne. But I think unbelief can serve as a blocker that can keep us from receiving the full glory of God's intended blessings. So my challenge, right now, is to do away with unbelief. To cast away evil and to ignore its obvious attempts to steal my hope. I've struggled mightily with unbelief throughout my nearly 34 years. (Three more days til my birthday. Accepting Starbucks. Kidding. Sort of. :) )
So now, I ask that you stand with me, not just begging God for healing, but believing that it will happen. Cast away your own unbelief. Now I should warn you: If you do this, it's likely that you'll find yourself becoming more of a doubter. But that's okay -- it's just the devil trying to lead you astray. Cast it aside and move on.
Phew. That was a moutful, huh? Have a blessed day, and thank you for believing in healing --for knowing that healing IS-- for my little sunshine.