This past summer my five year old son suffered from night terrors. We weren’t sure what was happening when it started, he would wake up shortly after falling asleep and scream and cry as if he just witnessed some horrific event.
Nothing we could do would snap him out of it, he didn’t even look at you as you tried to comfort him, we tried to get him to meet our eyes or even just acknowledge that we were there, but nothing. Eventually he got over it and went back to sleep and the rest of the night would go well.
This happened almost every night for nearly six months, and if you can’t relate, just imagine your child crying with terror, moving around in his bed as if he’s in a great amount of pain and nothing you do can help.
Imagine him asking you to make the scary dreams go away so he can sleep.
I prayed for him and over him on a nightly basis, before during and after each episode, I asked God to take this thing away from him or at the very least minimize the terror he was going through.
I know God answers prayers and sometimes He says no, but truth is I’m not sure what His answer to my prayer was, did He say “wait” did He say “no” or maybe He said “yes” and He did help him through it and the terrors would have been much worse had I not asked for His help.
As I watched my child suffer I’ll admit, it tested my faith and stretched my belief. Did God answer? If He did why is my child going through this? Does He hear me? I am after all a broken sinner asking God for help when there are many times when life is good that I don’t acknowledge Him. Why should He acknowledge me now?
The fact is our faith is supposed to be stretched and tested, beyond what we find comfortable and normal.
“Jesus did not die so we could do church” is a quote from a movie I recently watched. What that means is that we go to church and worship and tithe and that’s all good but there is more to His death than that.
There is way more to Jesus than our specific brand of Christianity, He does not confine Himself to the music we think is right, or to the way we dress on Sunday. This is Jesus! He is above all of Christianity and may not be the Jesus we have imagined in our minds… He is way bigger than that.
Have you ever heard the saying “God works in mysterious ways”? Well it’s true, but we aren’t always ready to accept it, God can do whatever He wants! There are times when He does something that’s out of the norm, something that’s out of our usual Christian routine.
Some things He does really stretches my faith and what I’m ready to believe, as if God only operates within the realm of what I’m ready to accept.
Like I said, He’s God and He can do anything!
Many stories in the Bible are hard to believe as well. A talking donkey, a talking, flaming bush, a man inside a whale for three days before being spit out… alive!
One of the hardest things to believe is the account of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. Which is at the core of our Christian faith, the very thing that if it didn’t happen our faith is for nothing.
If our world was not created and was in fact a series of events guided by nothing more than chance, then I can see how the stories in the Bible could not be possible and therefore not believable. However, if the world did have a designer, a creator, then for an ultimate higher power such as God the stories in the Bible are not only possible but also believable.
Think about it, if you created something from nothing, and if you were in complete control of it, couldn’t you do whatever you wanted with it? Parting the waters would be just another day for you.
The faith stretching part for me is modern miracles. I’ll admit I greet a lot of these stories with skepticism instead of belief, unless it’s someone I know then it’s a lot easier for me to accept it. I know that God can do it and at the same time I wonder if He actually did, and why.
I believe the Bible and all of its outrageous stories but I have a hard time accepting when people say that He miraculously healed them.
I believe God raised Jesus from the grave, so why is it so hard for me to believe that Joe Schmo, who had chronic back pain asked for healing and now he doesn’t?
Whenever I see these movies or documentaries I watch with a tension of wanting to believe them, and yet not believing them.
For example, their is a traveling preacher that whenever he speaks he is sprinkled with gold dust, this gold dust just appears from out of thin air and covers him. The people that picked him up from the airport say he was gold-free when they picked him up and yet he starts preaching and the gold just comes raining down.
My first reaction is this is some trick to get people to give, or they’re trying to manipulate people into coming to their church. Until I remember this guy is a traveling preacher, he doesn’t benefit from manipulating people into coming to that particular church, he only takes a small fee for his work and goes on his merry way.
So if it’s not a scam then somehow this guy preaches and gets covered by gold dust, by who? And why? Truth is I don’t know for sure who did it, the congregations always say it’s a sign given by God, and yet I remain skeptical. The bigger question for me is why, and I have no idea why God would do that.
I’m sure you’ve seen the TV evangelists who put their hands on people and the people collapse and when they stand up whatever affliction they had is now miraculously gone. Again I believe God can heal anyone at anytime and for some reason I don’t believe that God works like that. But why? He certainly can if He wants to, Jesus put His hands on people and cured them from all sorts of nasty things, from demons and leprosy to blindness and the very strange case of the woman who couldn’t stop bleeding.
Why wouldn’t God show up on a well lit stage with all sorts of TV cameras pointed at it to show off some of His awesome power?
Can a man in a nice suit really heal people by touching their foreheads and calling on the name of Jesus?
This is an area of my faith that needs some Holy Spirit in it. I believe He can but I have a really hard time believing people when they say He did.
I know, I know, a lot of people have used the power of God to scam their audiences out of money, or to stroke their own ego by saying they have the power, but that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t heal anyone. In fact God has most likely performed actual healings during these TV specials without most people ever even knowing it. Because He cares about us, all of us and even when we show up at some place to listen to some guy preach, He has the power to heal no matter where you are, when you ask Him, He hears you and if it’s His will… He will.
So what about the thousands of stories of medical miracles? The media doesn’t report them, the doctors shrug them off as some anomaly, and skeptics say they’re lies. Yet, thousands of stories of “I had cancer and now it’s gone” or “I wasn’t supposed to walk again, and now I do” and “I was barren but now I’m pregnant” come pouring out onto the Internet every year, and I get that some may be fake, but not all, I cannot accept that all of them are fake when they come from around the world and share such a common denominator…. Jesus.
Jesus heals, He did when He became a man, and He still does it now, I know He does, the only problem is my head gets in the way much of the time and says it’s not possible, but somehow Jesus still heals even if I can’t wrap my head around it.
My son eventually stopped having the night terrors and now sleeps the night away peacefully. God could have stopped it and maybe He did, I thank Him either way. As for the thousands of testimonials on the Internet about miraculous and instant healings, I believe some of them are true and God healed them because He can. Some are fake and I pray that whatever reason they have for lying about it helps them to turn around and see Jesus for the first time. Then He will actually heal their broken spirit and lead them home.
Thanks for reading! Please share and get people talking about Jesus.
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