Every now and then I go on personal theological journeys to deepen my understanding of my own beliefs. There are few things more embarrassing to me than to be asked to explain my Christian beliefs and not be able to articulate them. It has been said several times that persons of other religions study their faith and can articulate their beliefs well. But… us Christians… we tend to just accept the Sunday sermon and call it a belief. So, when someone asks us to explain it, we get stuck trying to remember what the preacher said.
One of the pillars of Christianity is the doctrine of FAITH. The bible lays vital importance upon faith in that it says that it is impossible to please the Lord without it. It also teaches us that the shield of faith should be cherished “above all” so that we can quench the fiery darts of the devil. We are “saved” through faith. But what is faith?
Now, I could take you through the definitions and explanations that I read in my bible dictionaries and commentaries. I could take you through the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. I could load you with scripture. But, I want to share my life experience. Besides, isn’t that what blogging is all about?
Be careful… this is about to become graphic… not for the weak of stomach…
I remember when I was 10 years old and had a nosebleed. This wasn’t uncommon because I was a “bleeder.” But this particular night it was severe – both nostrils, plus coughing up some blood. My mother – ever the prayer warrior – and others of our church, who all happened to be gathered at our home for a wedding reception, began to lay hands on me and pray for my healing from the bleeding. This lasted for hours – until about 2am when the blood finally clotted and the bleeding appeared to have stopped. Our faith worked… so we thought. I had lost pints of blood from my little body and was very weak from the experience.
After few days of V8 juice and plenty of rest, I was finally strong enough to go to back to school. But I had noticed over those few days that my eyes had become bloodshot – like I’d been hit with a baseball bat – and when I turned my head it sounded like I was under water. Cool… built-in sound effects! As I was getting dressed to go to school my nose started bleeding again… first one nostril, then both, then the coughing. This time, my parents rushed me to the ER. Upon thorough examination, the doctors found that I had a hairline fracture on my skull (I wrestled a lot and had been slammed on the floor on my head. I shook it off at the time but the results were obviously quite severe) which seemed to be related to a ruptured artery in my head that was causing all the bleeding. My brain was sitting in a pool of blood, my eardrums were semi-submerged, I had bled into my eyes, and it was coming out through the nose. I was coughing blood because I was swallowing so much of it. They packed my sinus cavity with gauze and were planning to do a procedure the next morning – I think it was a spinal tap but I really can’t remember why.
That night as my mother and I were praying for God to heal me and to carry me through the procedure, I saw a vision of the finger of God coming down through the sky, right over the hospital and then stopping over my room. Then I saw surgical tools coming out of the tip of His finger and operating on me.
When we got up the next morning, my eyes were clear and I didn’t hear any more liquid in my ears. When the doctors came in and saw me, they were stumped and could not explain what had happened. They kept me for two more days to run tests but couldn’t find any of what they had found before. They couldn’t even find a trace of the blood that they had seen before. Yeah – this was a miracle!
But was this about faith? Why was it that the saints prayed all night at my bedside at home and I still bled, but when my mother and I prayed at my bedside in the hospital, God healed me? Was there more faith with just my mom and me than with all the saints gathered in the room? How do the scriptures justify this outcome?
This is gonna take more than one blog to cover so tune in for the next installment.