Are you worried about anything? Are you anxious? Have you been fretting over something, mulling over it, tossing it around in your mind the way a nervous pitcher fumbles with a baseball before the batter steps up to the plate?
I've done more than my share of worrying. I say, "more than my share" because according to Jesus I'm not supposed to worry at all. I'm supposed to take my concerns to God in prayer and leave them there.
In John 4:46-54 Jesus encountered a man who was worried about his boy who lay dying in his bed in another town. The man implored Jesus to abandon His course and come instead with him to Capernaum so He could heal his son. He obviously had faith that Jesus could restore his boy's health or he wouldn't have asked such a favor. He showed great trust in Jesus.
But, despite the measure of faith displayed by this anxious father, Jesus sent the man home...and He didn't go with him. Instead He told him, "Go your way; your son lives."
Personally, I would have felt a lot better if Jesus had walked the path back home with me...if He'd taken me by the hand and led me to my healed child. But in this particular instance, Jesus refused to change His course of direction and walk the man through the ordeal.
There have been times in my life when I wanted a little more assurance from Jesus. It would have been nice if He'd just done an instantaneous miracle or at least given me a sign. Haven't you asked for signs? I have. I'd love a sign that my children are going to grow up and make wise decisions and stick close to the Lord. I'd like a sign that we're going to be able to pay for my daughter's college education somehow. I'd like signs about a few other personal dilemmas I've encountered recently.
But so far, no sign.
I bring my requests to Jesus and I hear Him say something like, "Okay. I've heard you and I care. Now get up off your knees and 'Go your way.' It's taken care of."
We don't know if the man fretted and worried and supposed with every step he took toward Capernaum. But we do know that he turned around, left behind the Miracle Worker he had come to fetch, and retraced his steps back to his boy. "
So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him,
and he went his way.
The faith wasn't in going to Jesus so much as it was in walking away from Jesus and going his way. I have great faith while I'm on my knees or in a church worship service or listening to a sermon by one of my favorite preachers on the radio. I have great faith while I'm sitting alone with Jesus and pouring out my heart to Him. But I find it harder to exercise that faith by getting up from that spiritual haven and "going my way."
Before the man in the story could even get home, a few of his servants met him on the road and told him that indeed his son had been healed. When had he been healed? Right at the moment Jesus had declared him so. And with that stretching of his faith, the man believed...not only that Jesus could heal his boy, but that Jesus was indeed who He claimed to be...the Messiah. The man's faith had increased and not only that, but his entire household believed with him.
And that, dear friends, is why it's so important for us to get up off our knees and "go our way." Sure prayer is an act of faith, but leaving that prayer request in Jesus' capable and loving hands and going our way is a testimony of faith. A testimony that demonstrates our faith in visible and tangible ways. A testimony of which others take note.
Today my hope is that we all can seek out Jesus with faith that He indeed can handle every worry and problem we have. And then I hope that we can "go our way," trusting Him to take care of every last detail. There is great faith in going to Jesus, but there's even more in going our way.
Labels: prayer, Walk Through the Bible