06 March 2012

Child-like Faith

Mark 10:13-15  13 People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them.  14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  15 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

Tonight, Michael's tummy didn't feel good.  I think he might have a cold or the same bug I had last week: tiredness, congestion, and a little uneasy stomach.  As I rocked with him in the rocking chair, him laying across my lap, we said our bedtime prayers.  This time, I asked Michael if it was all right if I prayed for God to help his tummy feel better.  Michael nodded.  After I finished the prayer and said "amen," Michael said, "but my tummy still doesn't feel good."  He truly believed that Jesus was going to heal his tummy immediately.  Didn't you? you might ask. 

Well, yes . . . sort of.  Michael's theology is a little uninformed, but yet his faith is profound.  Jesus is our healer; however, he doesn't always heal everything every time we ask, no matter what.  That would make Jesus some sort of robot or vending machine, where every time we pull the lever or insert the "money" (read: prayer), Jesus automatically must do what we say.  I believe that Jesus will heal every disease, injury, deformity, wrinkle, etc.  The question is not, "will he?" but "when will he?"  Our answer is found in 1 Corinthians 15:

1 Corinthians 15:42-58  42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable;  43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;  44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.  45 So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.  46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.  47 The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven.  48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.  49 And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.  50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.  51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed--  52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.  54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."  55 "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"  56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you.
Explain that to a three-year-old.  My answer to Michael's statement was, "well, buddy, sometimes it just takes time to heal."  God made our bodies to repair and maintain themselves pretty well most of the time.  So, indirectly, God does heal even trivial sickness, because He made us and our bodies in such a way that they heal themselves.

But I digress....  What I love about Michael's complaint was his belief that Jesus would heal him immediately.  Oh how I wish I had that kind of childlike, uncomplicated faith for every situation.

As I write this, I can hear Michael starting to cry in his bed.  I guess it's time for him to teach me some more. . . .

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