A Gift Of Faith

Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, "Why couldn't we drive it out?" He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." (Matthew 17:19-21)

These verses always remind me of a particular experience in my life, and I thought I’d share it with you today.

There’s something in me that keeps saying, “No!…don’t share it…it’ll make you look dumb…they’ll think you’re crazy…etc.” But there’s another something deep within me telling me that I’m not supposed to listen to that doubt and fear. I’m supposed to share. I’m supposed to tell you about my very own little personal miracle. Here goes.

I was a student at the time, and I was very busy working and playing. I was living in the dorms…even on a campus where sororities were a huge thing…I just couldn’t bring myself to be a joiner. Their little matching sweatshirts…their group giggle…their special days to dress up…ugh – NOT for me! I wanted my own thing. I wanted independence.

My miracle started simply enough…with a little tickle in the back of my throat. You know, that tickle that makes you think “Uh oh. I’m getting a cold.” Sure enough, by the end of the week it was a full blown cold. I suffered through it, and it finally started going away.

Eventually, all of the symptoms were gone but one – the sore throat. I just couldn’t shake that dang sore throat! I was popping cough drops and pain relievers, drinking warm drinks, trying not to talk much…every trick I could think of. It just would not go away. But I was too busy to stop. I was an engineering major…not exactly a curriculum that allowed me to take a week of to stay in bed and heal!

It eventually got so sore that I had to limit my diet to only eat foods that I could swallow easily. Eventually, I was hardly eating anything at all. I also wasn’t sleeping because every time I swallowed or yawned or talked or coughed…it was just pure agony. I don’t know why I didn’t go to the doctor sooner. I guess I thought it was just a cold, and it would go away. You don’t go to the doctor for a cold, right? And like I said…I was just too busy!

I finally dragged myself to the campus doctor. I had lost a bunch of weight, I was exhausted, I was in pain. If it didn’t hurt so much to cry, I would have been crying. Instead, I sat on that bed and just whimpered until the doctor came in.

The look on that doctor’s face when she looked in my throat is something that I can still see in my mind’s eye! She literally gasped and said, “OH! I’ve never seen a throat this bad! You have giant welts on your throat! How are you eating?”

She got me all fixed up with prescriptions. She prescribed an antibiotic, but warned me that it would take a minimum of 24 hours for me to feel any relief…probably more considering the shape of my throat. So she also prescribed some sort of topical pain reliever. I was supposed to put a few drops in my mouth, swish it around, gargle, and…I don’t remember…spit it out? Swallow it? She said it would numb the tissues a bit, and give me some relief. Awesome…hand it over!

Obviously, I was looking forward to getting back to my room to give the stuff a try! I was positively desperate for relief.

And the next part…I remember it like it happened just 5 minutes ago, although it seems so unbelievable and surreal. I guess miracles are like that.

I got back to my room, put the meds on the corner of my desk, tossed my coat on my bed, and sat down at my desk to give the meds a try. I figured I’d take the pain relief stuff first…maybe it would make the antibiotic a little less painful to swallow.

That little bottle of relief was sitting on my desk. I reached for it…gave it a shake…it looked like water to me. It suddenly dawned on me that I had absolutely NO doubt in my mind that as soon as this magical elixir touched my throat, that the pain would simply be gone. I fully expected to get complete (yet temporary) relief, just as the doctor had described. It never…never…crossed my mind that it might not work. I just knew with all that was in me that it would.

And then that voice…that still small voice…said “Now, THAT is faith that can move mountains.”

In that moment I was given a gift…a gift of that kind of faith that can move mountains. I suddenly realized that I had never had that kind of faith before…at least not in God. I had experienced that sort of faith on a daily basis…faith in worldly things. Faith that the sun would come up. Faith that the air I breathe would be there for me the next time I inhaled. Faith that the ground I walked on would meet the bottom of my foot the next time I stepped. Faith that my heart would continue to beat. Faith that the next time I was hungry, there would be something for me to eat. Faith.

The Bible says “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

CERTAIN. Not pretty sure. Not hoping that it’s true. Not giving it a reasonably sure chance. CERTAIN.

I had a little church in my dorm room right then and there! I apologized to God…the one who provided the sun and it’s warmth. The one who provided the air. The one who kept the earth solid beneath my feet. The one who created my heart, and then breathed life into my body moment by moment. The one who blessed my life with abundance beyond comprehension!

And in that amazing moment of really understanding to my very core all that God has done for me…all that he does do for me every minute of my life. In that moment…I found real faith that God could also heal my body if I would let him.

I spoke aloud my faith in his ability to heal me. I asked him to heal my throat if it was his will. And then…I felt silly doing this…but I felt the need to show, not only say, but show my faith in him. I tipped my head back, closed my eyes, and just opened my mouth. Sounds crazy, I know. But that’s what I did.

And when I opened my eyes, lifted my head and swallowed…my pain was totally and completely GONE. And do you know what? I was amazed and thankful, but I was not one little bit surprised! That’s how thorough…how certain…my faith had been. It was incredible!

I grabbed my coat and headed to the cafeteria for the first meal I’d had in days. The pain never did come back, and I threw out the bottle of pain reliever without using a drop.

I wish I could say that the incredible moment of faith I’d experienced had lingered. I’ve tried a number of times to sort of conjure it up in me…but I just can’t. It was of God, for God’s purpose in that moment.

I think of it in the same way I think of God giving people his grace to handle impossible situations…he gives them the grace only when it’s really needed. That’s how that gift of faith was. He gave me the faith for that moment, because it was in that moment that he wanted to teach me about the kind of faith that moves mountains. I’m so thankful!

And now I feel like that gift is truly complete, now that I’ve shared it with you. I don’t really understand it all. I don’t have any idea how God does the things he does. And I usually don’t understand why he does the things he does.

Do you think I’m crazy? Do you think it was all in my head? Well, I suppose you’re entitled to your opinion. All I can do is be a witness…to testify of the incredible things that he’s done in my life.

I hope that by my sharing this miracle with you, you’ll be blessed by it too.

More than Survival  – (2/22/2008 07:40:00 PM)  

I got excited reading your post! Thank you for sharing this!!!!!!!!
God is AWESOME!!!!!!

beBOLDjen  – (2/22/2008 09:11:00 PM)  

Wonderful. I am so glad you shared. What a life long, tangible faith lesson.

My hubby has one about an empty tank of gas and a truck fueld only by praise songs for Jesus! Isn't our God good!? And creative?

Only God can give us such faith, and BOY DON'T WE ALL WANT IT!

Misty  – (2/23/2008 08:21:00 AM)  

you do not sound even remotely crazy! I have had moments similar... And they are so other worldly, as if you are there drowning in the light of God's presence. And I try so hard to reach for and bottle those affects, reassurances and certainties, but I can't.
And I have, at times, felt like a failure because of that. Like maybe I just wasn't doing something right.
Thanks for this post because it never occurred to me that God wouldn't want us like that ALL OF THE TIME... And I guess it makes sense. Then that would add a touch or ordinary.

AudreyO  – (2/23/2008 01:14:00 PM)  

What a great story. I don't think you're crazy at all. Glad you shared.

Anonymous –   – (2/25/2008 04:28:00 PM)  

I don't think you're crazy. I have my own little story about a miracle. Too long-winded for here, but a situation where nothing else could explain it except God's grace.

Thanks for sharing.

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