There are a few things of which I am convinced. To begin with, I am convinced that I am a basically rational individual. My brain is more logical than emotional. I trust my instincts, because they’re usually rooted in reason, and I trust my experiences and perceptions of my experiences.
Consequently, I am also convinced that God loves us, and what’s more that he loves us extravagantly. I am convinced of this because of countless personal experiences, like God removing anger and hate from my heart and replacing it with love, hearing his audible voice (my dominant, rational side really struggled with that), and most recently, experiencing his healing power for the first time in Missoula (if you want the full story, ask me in person). I’ve also been blessed to witness at least seven other incidences of healing that I can think of off the top of my head.
You cannot talk about the supernatural in a Christian context without a discussion of faith, and specifically what kind of role faith plays in miracles. And while I don’t pretend to be an expert on the Bible, I can speak from my experiences, which seem to line up with Jesus’ teachings. “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matt. 17:20, ESV).
This verse is powerful to me because honestly, I’m a mustard seed kind of girl. Like I said, I’m a rational person. And with that rationality comes an often unhealthy dose of cynicism, even when all evidence tells me to believe the impossible. So it’s a relief to know that a tiny amount of faith is all God says I need to be a part his business.
I don’t claim to have a special gift of faith or healing. Almost every time I’ve prayed for someone and seen them healed, I haven’t “felt” anything. No “waves and fire swirls,” as one of my more charismatic friends says. Each time, I was simply obeying God’s command to pray for the sick, knowing that he says he loves us and that he’s a healer.
I don’t understand why some people get the miracle they’re praying for and others do not. I do not believe that God wills suffering, generally speaking, but I know his sovereignty means he can use it to show us how powerful, good, and loving he is. And sometimes that means miracles.
The amazing truth I’ve realized over the last few weeks and seeing God work like this again, is that faith is a verb, not an emotional state. Faith is acting based on God’s character. Faith is simply trusting him to be who he says he is. God is a person, not a formula. No one can give you a scripted prayer that will heal someone every time. What I believe he wants is for us to engage with his heart–his loving, reconciling, powerfully kind heart–and through that to bring him our tiny mustard seeds of faith, and trust him to move the mountains as he sees fit.
UPDATE: I should add I just heard a story of a girl in my church being completely healed of cancer. Amazing!