When Ellie was born I began to use the phrase 'here we go'. Here we go with a newborn who vomits, here we go moving to a new house two weeks before Christmas, here we go to the doctor again, here we go living in a bubble, here we go GAPS...here we go...here we go...here we go. That phrase always seemed to illustrate what I was feeling: deep breath, close your eyes, and JUMP! Each time I mustered up the ability to make the next leap, I was never quite sure how far I might fall or where I would land.
I have a couple of favorite Bible stories - and Peter walking on water is one of them. In case you are unfamiliar it goes something like this (a.la.my version) - The disciples of Jesus were in a boat in the sea during a crazy storm. They looked out across the water and saw a figure walking towards them. They yelled "ghost!" and were afraid. Through the loud and crazy rain, the bold, impulsive Peter called out, "Hey Jesus! If that is you tell me to come to you on the water!" To which Jesus shouted back, "come on out!" So Peter stepped out of the boat and onto the water, where he walked! But alas, it did not take him long to loose his faith and down he went into the water where he was forced to call out for help. Jesus reached out, and grabbed his hand before he sank into the waves.
This is the way I have always 'heard' the story - be it in my own reading, or listening to it taught. Poor Peter. He of little faith. He diverted his eyes from the One who kept him afloat, and down he sank. His bold, impulsive self was not faithful enough.
A few months back the Sunday sermon included this favorite story of mine, but this time it held a new significance. The pastor suggested that instead of focusing on the fact that Peter sank, we might make note of the fact that he was the only one that got out of the boat. Everyone else was a boat-sitter. Because of his faith, Peter was the only water-walker.
And then I realized: Peter stepped out of the boat expecting to walk on water. Why would he step out and expect to sink? He did not say 'here we go' and wait to see how far he would sink. Peter stepped out of the boat because he could see Jesus right there. Right in front of him. If he sank, He could shout out and He would be saved. He didn't worry about the end result because he knew it was taken care of by the One who loved Him the most. He had an expectation because he knew the promise: to be saved. Instead of saying "here we go!", Peter begged for permission to jump, and then shouted "I'm coming! Stay tuned for what Jesus is going to do!"
Oh, me of little faith.
I headed to the Bible again and began re-reading all the stories of the new testament where Jesus healed the sick, focusing on His interactions with children. And what I discovered is that Jesus healed anyone that came. He healed multitudes. And when he healed children, He told their parents to expect it.
He told them to have faith.
Mark 9: 21-27
Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
I prayed: help my unbelief.
I retired the phrase 'here we go', and began expecting miracles. And He has been oh.so.faithful.
One night I was doing more reading about the quality of (stainless steel) pots and thought to myself: 'I suppose I should check the quality of the pot I warm Ellie's bottles in. I wonder why that has never occurred to me before. I will look into that tomorow.'
The next morning, for no reason, the handle broke off of that pot.
Ellie has not been sleeping well for several months, waking several times a night. I mentioned to a friend 'I wonder if I should start her back on this medication. I just don't know what I should do.'
That night she slept for 7 hours straight. And has dramatically improved sleep patterns every since.
Almost 1.5 years ago we began Ellie on the road to healing. She was 18 months old, and horribly sick. Critical, missing milestones and starving, with an empty promise of 'outgrowing it'...someday. That little girl no longer lives in this house.
Stay tuned for this little girl.
She may not eat much yet, but she is already well on her way. She won't just walk on water; she will move mountains.