(Previously published January 1, 2011)
The roads and countryside of Galilee were marked heavily by the footsteps of Jesus. He walked. He taught. He healed. He prayed. He slept only to awake and do it all again.
He travelled extensively. With one purpose....to draw us....to glorify His Father, and display God's power.
The power that rested upon Him.
A display more brilliant than the most beautiful sunset. More magical than the most spectacular fireworks.
No where to lay His head....from His lowly entrance into this world, in a manager, to His earthly ministry...no earthly home to call His own.
His home was found as He rested in the love of His Father.
The love that would proclaim a kingdom yet to come. A life lived with hope, with healing, showered in grace and abundant in mercy. A looking forward, not looking behind.
With expectancy. With urgency. With purpose.
And as He travelled He demonstrated this power for all to see. Often in healing the sick and making them well. The blind. The lame. The dead. The demon-possessed. The mute. The deaf. The sick.
The multitudes traveled with Him. Watching. Waiting. Leaning in to learn more. Seeing a glimpse of the power beholden to this man Jesus...the Son of God.
They were challenged. They were encouraged. They were convicted. Their hearts softened. And for some, their faith grew.
There was something different about this man. Something their minds could not grasp hold of.
And the sick knew that if only they could come close to Him, if only He would touch them, they would be made well.
Two blind men followed Jesus.
Without physical eyesight, but knowing the voice of Jesus.
Following as He performed miracle after miracle.
Finally, calling out to Him, "Son of David, have mercy on us!" (Matt. 9:27)
And Jesus, knowing the secrets of their hearts. Knowing the healing that they desired. That they needed, asked them a poignant question....
"Do you believe that I am able to do this?" (Matt. 9:28)
It is a question that God has been asking of me from the moment I read these few short verses this summer.
In this journey through breast cancer, along the road, in my moments of weakness and frailty, in uncertainty, in weariness.......as my heart has cried out to Him as these blind men did....God has been answering me...and growing my faith with this same question.
"Do you believe, Stacy, in who I am? That I am able to heal you? That I, ALONE, can do that which no one else can?"
It is a two part question.
Do you believe?
Is your faith so grounded in Me, Jesus, that you know with absolute confidence of my love for you. Of my grace. Of my forgiveness. Of my power.
Will you waiver in your faith based on your circumstances or will you trust Me and the power that I possess, that I desire to display in and through you as you journey?
And two......."Do you believe that I am able?"
Do you know that I can move the mountains and calm the sea? That I can make the lame walk and the blind see? That I can heal the diseased marriage and make well the diseased body? That I can put food in your pantry and bring forth money to pay the bills?
Do you believe that I am able to do all this and more? Is your faith in me that strong?
He desires our response to be, as it was with these two blind men...."Yes, Lord." (Matt. 9:28)
No hesitation. A posture of trust in the almighty God, above all else.
Is that my posture today?
This last week was one marked again with uncertainty for us.
The plan played out in the physical was not the plan that was formulated in my mind.
We were able to get away for a couple of days to the Pocono Mts. here in Pennsylvania. My husband's brother and his wife had a timeshare they had reserved for the week. They invited us all to join them at the beginning of the week, with plans to ski on Tuesday.
For Christmas, my in-laws so generously and graciously helped lease all of our children's ski equipment for the season. A sport that we have just recently ventured back into as a family, was going to be a reality for us again this year.
On Tuesday, we spent the day at a local ski resort. Strength has been returning to my body and I was able to enjoy the day with the family. It was glorious, until around 4:30.
My oldest two sons, Ben and Seth, were snowboarding at the terrain park on the mountain. We received a call around 4:30, that Ben had fallen while on a snowboarding rail. He was loaded in an ambulance and needed to be taken to the local hospital.
What was certain, became uncertain.
Snowmobile came and brought me to the ambulance. Seth was there, having witnessed the whole event. Barclay had to stay back with the smaller children, load them all up and hand them off to my brother in law, then making his way to the hospital.
The ambulance pulled away and I became numb. Ben wasn't himself. He was strapped to a board, laying in the back of the ambulance. Oxygen to his nose. Unable to remember what happened or any details from the last 30 days. The extent of the brain injury unknown in those moments.
We spent the next 5 hours in the ER with Ben asking questions, answers given, and then 30 seconds later, the question asked again as the answers weren't remembered. Ben scared, not remembering facts that he should have know. Not knowing his age. Not knowing we just celebrated Christmas. Not knowing what he received.
The shock from the last 5 hours settled in. And around 10:30PM, after Ben was transferred to Pediatrics, my husband staying behind to stay with Ben, I got in the car alone, traveling back to the house where we were staying.
And I cried out to the Lord on behalf of my son. I cried out for physical healing. For his memory to be restored. I cried out in fear, not knowing what laid ahead. I asked for His power to be made known.
And God whispered to me the same question he has for months, "Stacy, do you believe I am able to do this? Do you trust Me? Do you believe that I am able to heal your son?" Do you trust me and the plans that I have for you and your family?"
And I responded, "Yes, Lord." No matter what you have, I trust you and know that you will walk us through. Please be gracious and merciful."
I slept fitfully Tuesday night, waking up continually. Praying. Falling back to sleep. Waiting for answers to come. My faith on the edge of belief and unbelief.
Ending 2010 with yet another hospital, another unknown. Another test of my faith. A strengthening. I was tired and weary and God knew, but still took me deeper.
Wednesday, Ben awoke, restored. He still doesn't remember the accident, but the rest of His memory
As I continue to meditate on those few verses in Matthew and the question that Jesus asked of those blind men, and has been asking of me this year......I see how weak my faith can be. That I often desire an outward manifestation of the power of God.
I want healing. I wanted it for my son. And I desire it for me.
I know He is able. I believe in His character. But I want the tangible. I want to define the terms.
God doesn't work that way. Sometimes the tangible is not what will make us stronger. We are too quick to give the power to something or someone else. To give the glory to another.
As Jesus walked the streets of Galilee, He often displayed His power through healing.
But even in physical healing, He was after more. He was after the heart of each person He healed.
He desired to bring healing to the inner places. He is more concerned with the inside than the outside.
“to show that the Son of Man has power on earth of forgive sins.” (Matt. 9:6)
“Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk?”
When Jesus healed the paralytic.....He not only said ‘Your sins are forgiven, but in His grace and love, He said, ‘Arise and Walk.”
That is the God we serve.
He desires to increase our faith. And He will do so at all costs, because our faith to Him, is more precious than gold. (1 Peter 1:7) Sometimes He grows it by displaying His power through the physical, but sometimes, it goes much deeper to the deep places of our hearts.
We are often more concerned with the outside than the inside. We are the ones who have it backward.
After Jesus was resurrected from the dead, Thomas doubted that He was alive. Thomas proclaimed that until he put his hands in Jesus side and saw his nail pierced hands, he wouldn’t believe. He needed to see it for himself.
Jesus knows our weaknesses. He knows when we waiver. He stood before Thomas displaying His scars. Thomas believed.
But Jesus went on to say, “blessed are those who believe without seeing.”
As 2010 closed out, I reflected on how Jesus met me in my weaknesses this past year. How in my weakness, He was strong. He was powerful. That as I believed in HIM, that power was made manifest in my weakness.
It is that power that we are held by.
Sometimes that power is declared through physical healing. The grand display. The fireworks. The miracle.
Other times, His power is displayed in the confines of our hearts and lived out in the midst of our physical disease: a diseased marriage, a diseased bank account, a diseased body.
That in the midst of these circumstances, physical healing isn’t brought forth, but instead a life built on Jesus Christ, displaying His glory, displaying His power. Displaying His love.....in spite of the physical.
That is healing. That is power.
In 2011, may we expect God to work without a whirlwind or a grand display announcing His power.
May we expect God to work because we know He is more than able - because we know HIM!
And as He opened the eyes of those two blind men.....may He open our eyes, as well.
Much love to you today and into 2011,