The Hat Rack

Many years ago, one Sunday morning, my husband and I were visiting a new church for the first time, when an elderly lady came up to us and invited us to her house for dinner, following the service. We gladly accepted her invitation, and followed her home.  As we sat in her livingroom, we shared in a very pleasant conversation, getting to know a little more about each other.. She was a long-standing member at her church and was well-loved by her church family.  Although it was very apparent that she was elderly, her speech and expressions were vibrant, and she was very happy to talk about how much she loved the Lord, and how much He had done for her, as she enthusiastically shared some of her many testimonies. My husband and I each talked a little about our faith experience, and  I mentioned how our two children, very small at the time, were miracle babies, and that I was believing God for another one.

She looked at me, with a smile in her eyes, and said, “You see that hat rack over there on the wall?” I answered, “Yes.” she said, “Whenever the Lord does something for me, I imagine that I’m hanging a hat on a hat rack…and everytime he answers I just keep adding a new hat.  And the next time I find myself frustrated about something that I’m praying for, I  just take a look at that hat rack, and I see all those hats hanging there, and I’m reminded of all the prayers that God has answered, some that I may have even forgotten, and I am encouraged that he did it before and he’ll do it again.” I really appreciated this example and made an effort to apply it in my own life.

Now, when I think back on this example, it reminds me of what young David said to King Saul, when he volunteered to fight Goliath…

“David said… The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine…” I Samuel 17:37

The lion and the bear were hanging on David’s hat rack!!! He just took a look back, and was fully persuaded, that God would do it again. :)

Has it been a while since you took a look at your own hat rack? Surely God has blessed you and answered your prayers in the past… Just take a look back, and like David be fully persuaded that God will do it again.

Two Rivers

Once, when I was invited to speak at a Women’s Conference to share my story, I opened by saying that I had cried “a river of tears”.

I knew that there were  women present who could relate, because they too had experienced the pain and disappointments that lead to crying lots of tears. I knew, because I had been there…

Sometimes people, in an effort to be comforting,  may say,” I know how you feel”… but it’s much more of a comfort when you know that someone has actually experienced circumstances similar to your own. As women, we feel things so deeply, and “crying a river of tears” was the best way that I could describe the heartfelt sadness that accompanied me through this difficult time in my life. I knew that I was not the only one to feel this way.

Many mornings,when I was having problems with my health, and praying for a miracle, my husband would wake to hear me quietly weeping, with my head sunk in my pillow. He would try to comfort me, but after a while, I think he just wanted me to let go of what he considered to be an “obsession” with wanting to have a baby. But I was not obsessed, and I would not let go.

In spite of all my tears, I knew in my heart, that there was another river…

Psalm 46 says that, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble… There is a river, the streams whereof shall make . glad the city of God,…God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early..Be still and know that I am God…”

Sometimes we need to have a good cry, and that’s OK,… but we mustn’t cry as if there’s no hope… There is true comfort in knowing that God sees our tears, and will answer our prayers. Just remember,

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning!”

Psalm 30:5

The Power of Prayer and Fasting

“…this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting…”  Matthew 17:21

When I was praying for a miracle, there were many times that I would get discouraged, and sometimes even depressed, because it seemed like nothing was happening…  There were only a few people during that time, that I could talk to, who actually believed with me, encouraged me, and listened patiently.   My grandmother was one of these people. She was the first one to pray for me when the doctors  said that I would never be able to have a baby. She told me, way back then, at the beginning of my journey, that I would be a mother, and she laid her hands on my tummy and prayed for me. She had great faith. I often called her during my lowest times and she would say to me, “God will do it. He is faithful and there is nothing too hard for Him.”  She told me that what I needed to do, was to pray and fast. She told me to always pray and fast whenever I could. Not just once, but periodically, along with my prayers, as I waited for God to do as He promised.

When the struggle and the waiting became the most unbearable, I remembered my grandmother’s words and followed her advice, and even though she passed away, during the 10 year period of praying for my third little miracle, and had gone home to be with Jesus, her sweet voice remained in my heart, always reminding me of the power and importance of prayer and fasting.

Sometimes when we’ve been praying for something for a very long time, it feels like an uphill battle… It’s a fight, but, Second  Corinthians 10:4 says that, ” … the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty, through God to the pulling down of strongholds.”  Prayer and fasting are two of those mighty weapons… Armed with the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, we press through the battle, with prayer and fasting, until the victory is ours!

The Microwave Treatment

Sometimes it’s hard to wait when you’re praying for something special to happen, and I know what that feels like…

Once, while I was waiting for my miracle, I had a dream. It had been about 6 months since I had 18 tumors removed, and I was growing more and more impatient about having a baby. I thought that once the tumors were removed, I’d get pregnant right away. But that’s not what happened… One night, I had a very interesting dream…

It was actually two dreams at once. During the first dream, my husband and I were visiting some friends for dinner and as the men talked in the living room, I sat in the kitchen while the food was being prepared. I was shocked to see that my friend was spooning raw, runny, red, hamburger meat, into taco shells and placing them in the microwave to be cooked. “YUCK!” I thought to myself, and when she had finished cooking, she topped them with all the trimmings, but I just couldn’t bring myself to eat any, because I saw the way that they were prepared with raw meat, and this really grossed me out!

In the second part of my dream, I was in a meat shop, and I was trying to buy a beef roast which was turning slowly on a spit. I was in a hurry, and I told the man cooking the meat that I had been waiting a long time, and was ready to go. He looked at me and said “I’m sorry ma’am but it’s not ready yet. I said  “Are you sure? It looks like it’s done.” then he pulled out a long sharp-pointed thing, and pierced through the meat, and all of this red, runny, gook came pouring out. He was right. The meat was not ready… It was as if both parts of the dream had the same meaning.

When I woke up, I thought that maybe this dream had something to do with my healing from surgery, and  how  I was not yet healed up enough on the inside…

A few days later, I was sitting in the park, watching  my son and daughter at soccer practice, when I saw a friend from church. She asked me how I was recovering from the surgery.  I told her that I was doing fine, but that I was really ready to have another baby, “After all”, I said “I’m 35 years old!”…She was nearly 50, and told me that I was still young enough to have another baby.  “God’s timing is perfect… Just be patient!..I had my last baby when I was 40 years old. ” she said. I smiled, shrugged my shoulders, and said, “But I’ve been waiting so long already.”  Then she said, ” Faith, you just had surgery… You need time to heal.”  She laughed and said jokingly, .. “What you want is the Microwave Treatment!!“…

When she said this, I knew that it was a confirmation of the dream that I’d had a few days earlier… “The Microwave Treatment”… It was true! I didn’t want to wait any longer.. I wanted my miracle,and I wanted it now! This instant… In fact, I wanted it yesterday!!

I was reminded by this incident, that God is in control, and I accepted that He knows best. I would just have to be patient and wait…

Three years later, I realized my miracle, and was expecting our little girl.

Patience!

Sticks and Stones

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” This is so-o-ooo not true! In fact, some words can hurt worse than sticks and stones, and when you’re praying for a miracle, what you say or don’t say really does matter…

Have you ever noticed how, the moment you start talking about believing for a miracle, someone comes along, and starts giving you all the reasons why it will never happen? It’s usually not because they don’t mean well. Sometimes they just don’t want to see you get hurt or be disappointed, and sometimes it’s because they just can’t imagine such things coming to pass. Regardless of their intentions, these words, once embedded in your heart and mind, can strike a fatal blow to your faith.

It’s not only the words that you hear, that can hurt your faith, but also the words that you speak. Proverbs 18:21 says that; “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” In fact, it would be better to say nothing at all, than to speak words of doubt or fear concerning what you are believing God for in your life. Luke 1;5-22 gives a perfect example of this. It speaks of Zacharias, and how the angel Gabriel told him that he and his wife, Elisabeth, would have a son.

Zacharias couldn’t believe it,.. and that’s just exactly how he spoke. He gave all kinds of reasons why this could not happen, like being too old, and finally, because he didn’t believe, he lost his ability to speak. God was going to perform a miracle in Zacharias’ life,and Zach’s words of doubt couldn’t be allowed to get in the way, so Zacharias would have to stop speaking , and God made it so that he would be unable to say a word, until the miracle of his son’s birth came to pass.

Later, in the same chapter, the angel Gabriel came to Mary with the announcement of Christ’s birth, and her response is one of faith,.. not doubt. She simply asks how this can be, because she’s a virgin. She doesn’t say that it can’t happen… She believes and submits herself to God’s will. Mary knew how to ponder things in her heart. Not only did she speak words of faith, saying, “Be it unto me according to thy word“, she also knew how to keep quiet, allowing God’s miracle to come to pass in her life.

When it comes to our faith, words really do matter.

Crazy Faith

There was a time when, my family, friends, and neighbors would have thought that “Crazy Faith” would be a perfect title for my autobiography! :)

I know that this is true, because once, when I was in the final months of my pregnancy, (you know, the pregnancy that I prayed 10 years for), I overheard my husband talking to a neighbor, saying; “We all thought that Faith was losing her mind!… While she was struggling with her health and praying for another baby, her mother and sister would call and say, “We’re really concerned about Faith..”  They thought that I was going crazy!!! He had never told me this before, so when I heard it, I laughed, and said, “That’s OK… They thought that Noah was crazy too, but it sure did rain didn’t it? So, I’m in good company!”

It all began 15 years earlier, when I read Luke 8:48,  “Daughter, your faith has made you whole…”, and from that moment on,  there was no turning back for me… I believed it.

Of course, I myself, don’t think it’s “crazy”, but lots of people might consider it crazy to believe for something that seems impossible. Reading those words as a young 24-year-old, and believing that God had spoken to my heart, “fueled” me to move forward in faith, convinced and certain, that God would bless me, despite my physical circumstances.

Is there something that you would like for God to do for you, but you think that it’s impossible, or not important enough, or too big, to ask for?..  Ephesians 3:20 says that God is “…able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,..”  The power at work in us includes our faith!  Many times when Jesus healed someone, he said, “according to your faith be it unto you”, or “your faith has made you whole.”

Even if it makes you look “crazy” to those around you, or, if it’s just a secret request that you haven’t mentioned to anyone else, ask God what you will, and believe with “crazy” or unexplainable faith that, “with God… nothing is impossible.”

Smiles and Blessings,

Faith