Devotional Reading: John 4: 43-54. Morning Psalm–34; Evening Psalm–25
Text: The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way. (vs. 50b)
I think that the hardest thing about faith is believing that our prayers are heard and acting upon that belief. The father’s faith in Jesus is what stood out to me in today’s devotional reading. He returned home to find his son well. Curious, he asked his servants when his son turned the corner to wellness. When told, he realized that it was at the same hour that Jesus told him to go home. Sometimes that has happened to me. More often than not, though, that it not how faith works–or at least my experience of faith. God is not some short of cosmic vending machine or celestial Santa Claus. Faith is not a financial or spiritual exchange. It’s just not.
The verse that has helped me most in my faith journey is found in the letter of James. I tell new followers of Christ–or those taking their first furtive steps in discipleship–that James is Christianity 101. “When you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” (1:6) While this text speaks specifically about wisdom, I believe that it applies to all of our prayers. Ask and then step out in faith. Like the father, walk “home”. Things may turn out as we wish, but ultimately God is faithful. In the words of the Psalmist, “Tears may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” (30:5) In God’s world, there is always a morning.
Lord, give me the faith of that father who came to Jesus in John’s gospel today. Let me walk home to my fears and troubles confident that somehow you are at work. Wipe my tears away and let me see the light of morning’s joy. Amen.