Part II of VII – He Was Dying (Faith?)…
He was diagnosed with incurable, terminal cancer in April of 2000. The doctor had said he had 6 months to two years to live, but more likely 6 months.
Some people tell you to start praying. but most people who go ahead and do that die anyway. Does that mean the prayer didn’t work?
How much faith do we need to have answers to prayer?
Mathew 17:20 states, “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed…nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
A grain of a mustard seed – one of the smallest seeds on earth. We need only a very small amount to bring God’s response because He loves us and knows that as humans, faith doesn’t come to us easily. But that small amount is necessary. But that still doesn’t tell me how much faith – in me – is equal or greater than (or less than) a mustard seed.
Mathew 9:28-30, says; “When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’
‘Yes, Lord,’ they replied.’
Then he touched their eyes and said, “according to your faith will it be done to you’, and their sight was restored.”
So….why doesn’t that happen for everyone? Ummm…let’s look at it….
#1) Faith is needed in the midst of difficult circumstances.
James 1 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given to him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
Wow – is that a good word for me today, as I try to make decisions concerning the purchase of a restaurant. I have felt so much like a wave tossed in the ocean lately. I miss greatly having my husband with me, a partner in big decisions. If we were going to make a big mistake, at least we were doing it together.
My husband was diagnosed with incurable, terminal cancer in April of 2000. The doctor had said he had 6 months to two years to live, but more likely 6 months.
When he first heard that, his heart felt like it broke into a million pieces. What to do; where to go; how to handle it…or could he handle it? First he had to tell his kids, then his relatives, then his personal friends. How do you DO that? Life Stopped.
Then he stopped. There was nothing to do other then ….put it in to the Lord’s hands. If it was God’s will for him to be healed, so be it. If not…so be it.
He enrolled in a Bible college. His relatives thought that was crazy. If he only had a short time, why go to school? But he figured, if his days were to be few, this is how he wanted to spend them.
Wow, that was a huge decision we made together. But I wasn’t afraid. As long as we were together in it, I wasn’t afraid. My husband moved his entire family to the Bible college campus. Didn’t he have at least the faith of a mustard seed?
For a time, he grew stronger in body and stronger in the Lord. He lived that year and the next and the next. We were able to do many things during that time and our kids had a chance to get older before he left. Things began to get more difficult for my husband in the fall of 2003, and he finally went to be with the Lord in June of 2004.
During his last four years, while we were associated with the Bible college, he was prayed over by many, many people. One man, lacking the usual tiny vial of oil for anointing, decided to do something he’d always wanted to do and poured a full bottle of Wesson oil over my husband’s head. Whatever. Another man who had never actually met my husband personally wrote an email to say that he’d been so moved to prayer that he sat in proxy for my husband as his own elders prayed over him, and that it was tremendously heavy and anointed time.
These were strong people; pastors, preachers, evangelists. Didn’t they have the faith of a mustard seed?
Not only did they all have faith, but they had enough faith and, saddened by the thought that this man might be leaving several young children behind, they used their faith in calling on the Lord in these difficult circumstances.
The prayer did work. He lived four years instead of 6 months.
But I guess the bottom line…No one lives for ever; we all have death waiting for us. Even the people Jesus healed while on earth eventually died.
As they say, there are no living apostles, right?
He lived the number of years God purposed for him. His children all had a chance to get 4 years older. I had the blessing of his companionship for a little while longer. Although being a single parent is stressful, I have complete faith that there is a purpose in all of God’s timing.
And maybe part of that timing is this: One of the important things that is happening within me is that I am having to switch the dependence and security I felt in my husband over to the Lord. I have faith, but I also have to have trust that the Lord is my partner and He isn’t going to let me down. Just as when I was with my husband, I am not alone in the decisions I make. This is a huge area for me to learn and grow in.
first published 12/7/2008