One thing I have learned is that miracles are nothing in the presence of unbelief.
The first day we got to Guatemala, I witnessed a miracle.
I’ve always leaned more towards the side of skepticism, especially when it comes to spiritual miracles. I could hear a thousand stories of miracles happening and never truly believed in any of them. They were just amazing and inspiring stories to me, but when it came to reality, I couldn’t grasp it.
That spirit of skepticism has oozed into my relationship with God and the Bible. My scientific mentality made me wrestle with Biblical truths and has given me a subconscious skepticism to everything I hear regarding faith.
That first day in Guatemala, shattered every conception of what a miracle was.
My friend and fellow squad mate, Bri, had fallen through a roof about a week prior. She fell a good 12 feet onto hard concrete and it was an actual miracle that she was alive and didn’t have major damage to her body. Her body was bruised and sore all over, she wore a sling for her arm that we had fallen on, a brace for her ankle that also got fell on and a whole neck brace to stabilize her neck because her neck was also highly jolted.
Walking through the airports of Guatemala was a scene to say the least, with Bri in a whole wheelchair, arm sling and neck brace. She could barely walk and was just enduring a lot of pain.
The mere amazement of her condition regarding her fall was unbelievable in and of itself.
When we finally arrived to the Guatemala base after a long and uncomfortable travel day for Bri and her injuries. The Guatemala base staff met us with open arms, smiling faces and passionate spirits. Within moments of meeting them, their passion had become infectious and our whole squad was feeling the excitement.
A man by the name of Gabe Sanchez, one of the Guatemalan base staff members who has truly changed my life just by the way he walks through his life, approached Bri and asked her what had happened.
As soon as Bri had finished her story that she had practically memorized at this point because of all the curious people in the airport, Gabe immediately responded, “Well can I pray for healing?”
Bri responded with a hesitate but eager yes, many times people said that they were praying for her as more of courtesy that a direct intention of doing so. But Gabe came in with power, authority and faith.
Some of us watched as he prayed a bold but simple pray over each body part that was in pain.
First, he told her to take off the ankle brace and he prayed for her ankle.
Then, he told her to take off the arm sling and he prayed for her arm
Finally, he told her to take off the neck brace and he prayed for her neck.
I watched with little expectancy and a nulled spirit. Bri’s face started to shift from apathy to confusion as she started to start moving her limbs in unbelief. The confusion quickly turned to astonishment as she stretched and moved her arm and shoulder all the way around, her ankle with ease and finally her neck. The crowd looked around at each other in amazement and unbelief, eagerly asking Bri how she was feeling and if she was actually healed.
She could not utter any words, instead her actions spoke for her. She got up and started jogging around laughing and crying in amazement. She was actually, truly healed.
We all we besides ourselves in unbelief and confusion. Jesus’s healings were something we always read about but they never actually happened to us!
I caught myself in a strange contradiction. My eyes had not deceived me, this wasn’t a second hand story, the proof of miracles were right in front of me, yet there was that part of me that simply did not belief or allow myself to comprehend the insanity of what had just happened.
Why was it that miracles could be performed in all their glory and power right in front of me, and I could still deny it. It was like I was looking God right in the face and claiming that it must not be real.
I realize that I do this is more than just physical miracles, but my disbelief denies God in much more in my life.
When I allow the anxiety of the future to trump my trust, I deny God.
When I rely on solely my works to get me anymore and ignore the sovereignty of God, I deny Him.
When I look in the mirror and tell myself I am not beautiful, I deny God and His Word.
When I say, “No Jesus, you don’t understand, I am too dirty for you, if you just knew the things I’ve done, you’d know I am unworthy” … I DENY GOD.
When I allow my perception of the world to trump the Word of God, I am saying that my ideas are more trustworthy and valuable than God’s. How prideful!
I am reminded of Jesus, and how even His closest disciples and the people that saw with their own eyes the miracles He performed, still did not truly believe. Would I be one of the skeptics? Would I be someone who watched the Son of God and turn the other way? Would I be a prosecutor the one and only perfect and holy being?
I always fantasize about what it would be like to know Him in real life, to physically give Him a hug, to look Him in the eyes and call Him my father, my love and my life. I am terrified to think that maybe I wouldn’t.
I would rather be the blind beggar on the streets who followed Jesus instead of the pharisee that prosecuted Him out of his own doubt.
I realized that my doubt, denies Jesus and His Word.
Thank God we serve a gracious and loving God, who met my disbelief with understanding, love and patience. He could have very easily taken my doubt and pride with justified fury but instead He takes my hand, leads me to green pastures and speaks rivers of encouragement to me as I learn to grow with Him.
It is easy to believe and be EXPECTANT of miracles when we serve a God this good. Man, I praise Him that He had so much more in store than simply healing Bri to bring an end to pain, but also to end MY pride and MY disbelief and to glorify His name.
Miracles are nothing in the presence of unbelief and our religion is nothing without true and unhindered belief.
Thank you, Jesus, for pruning me of my unbelief in incredible and gracious ways.