I need a miracle. Actually, I have a friend who needs a miracle, and I’m just one of the hundreds of people who are probably begging for her miracle this week.
I have some pretty vivid memories from my high school days where you opened my eyes to a truth in your word for the first time. Like the time I was on a mission trip, snuggled in my sleeping bag on the floor of some Sunday School room. I remember reading in my Rebecca St. James devotional book that I was expected to rejoice even in my sufferings. Say what?!? You mean I’m not supposed to just throw a pity party and whine?
I also remember hearing a truth for the first time sitting in the floor of an upstairs cabin at Camp Little Cross Roads in my first summer as a counselor. It was during a staff meeting, and one of the directors told us that we were to, “Pray believing.” I guess that up until that point I had always prayed wishing or hoping…not really believing.
All these years later, I’m still struggling with both of these instructions, God.
How can I rejoice in the midst of my friend’s suffering? I realize that the rest of those verses say that believers are supposed to rejoice because of what the suffering produces in us…patience, character, and hope. God, I think my friend has enough of those. She’s got it. And for me, God…..might I suggest you could just choose some other way to produce patience, character, and hope in my life? My children seem to be doing a pretty good job at all of those these days.
And then there’s the whole praying believing deal. Here’s the thing….I fully believe, 100%, that you have the power to produce this miracle. Every single part of my being knows that you can. I must confess, God, that I just have a hard time praying believing that you will.
Then my mind starts this vicious, never-ending, confusing cycle of questions that you’ve heard from me a zillion times. What if I’m the reason that it’s not happening? What if my unbelief is holding you back? But what if I pray it and then that’s not your will? What then?
God, I started typing this prayer hoping (believing even, maybe) that I’d get to this point and I’d have some answers. I guess that your answers are not really any different than the instructions that prompted the questions: Rejoice. Believe.
So I will rejoice in the birth of the one from whom joy grows. I will rejoice in the midst of my friend’s sufferings because I do believe that the product of that suffering can bring glory to you. We need a miracle. Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.