I love how God uses children to make a PhD feel like a helpless infant in theological understanding.
Don’t you? It just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
I have a PhD in Practical Theology from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. But my 7 year old (Luke) made me consider going back for more . . . ’cause I may know some theology, but I sure haven’t been very practical with it.
Translation: I got taken to the woodshed (spiritually speaking) by a kid (unknowingly by him) in one of the most fundamental aspects of being a Christian.
Last Saturday, my 6 year old (Seth) was having some major leg pain and just wasn’t feeling well at all. I didn’t think much about it until he said he didn’t want to play in his Upward game. When he said that, my thought was: “It’s over. He’s dying. There’s no hope. Let’s gather round and sing his favorite hymns as he passes on into the sweet by and by.”
Translation: Seth LOVES to play Upward Basketball. It’s all he talks about. When he didn’t want to play, I knew something was bothering him.
I could bore you with alot of other details about the situation, but let me get to the part where I get schooled by Luke. . .
While we were in the car after the game – the game Seth didn’t play in – I suggested we pray for Seth and his leg (being the Pastor-Theologian-PhD-Loving Father-Humble-Man that I am). Everyone thought it was a good idea, so I led us in prayer (I was driving, so I kept my eyes open . . . I think God understands). I thanked God for Seth. I acknowledged that God knew all that was going on with Seth. I waxed eloquently as to how God was all powerful and could heal Seth in an instant. I asked for healing. I asked for wisdom to know whether to take him to the doctor. I am sure my prayer sounded like one of heaven’s finest on that Saturday morning.
Then I said, “In Jesus name, Amen.”
MY next thought was, “Now how far down are we from Shipley’s donuts? I’m hungry!”
LUKE’S next thought was (blurted out vocally), “Seth, is it better now?”
Yeah. He did.
He actually believed God could have healed him right there on the spot.
He actually thought God would have done something like that.
He actually thought the reason we pray was because we think God is going to act.
He actually had. . . faith.
Was Seth healed at that moment? No. He is now (praise God), but not at that moment.
But that’s not the point. Luke believed Seth could have been healed because we asked God to do it. Luke’s daddy, however, didn’t. Luke’s daddy had the theological belief that God could heal Seth, but not that He really would right then. Luke’s daddy knew the ‘pastoral-dad-leader thing’ was to pray for Seth to get better; but not actually pray in faith that God could do it.
It’s a scary thought, but true nonetheless: It’s possible to believe that something is the right thing to do, but not believe what you are doing actually ‘works.’
I believe it’s right to pray for healing and help. But I didn’t believe God was going to heal Seth right then.
Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.