We’ve all heard this and we chuckle when we hear it but the reality of it is the reason it continually gets used. I know that I didn’t know calculus or world history at that point but there are somethings we knew so clearly and vividly as children that could have a refresher on now. I had this experience this past week.
I was with some friends and we were simply praising the Lord. There was a break in the music and an number of people were praying for each-other and responding to anything they felt the Lord was saying. One person that I had met this week simply came up to me and asked if he could pray for my foot. It was a simple question but it quickly took me back 20 years and reminded me of what having “faith as a child” meant.
If you have known me for long you probably know that I don’t have any toes on my right foot. There are a few stories circulating about the cause, ranging from shark attack, to frost bite, to skin eating disease but the truth is simply a lawn mower accident when I was 6. I have nicknamed it “stubby” and he’s been running around for 20 years now. When the accident happened there was a community that rallied around me and my family in prayer and support and my two weeks in the hospital went as well as they could. The doctor was able to save the foot, where they were afraid they may have to remove more from infection. For many reasons the whole experience was a miracle already. I was a six year old on crutches and in physical therapy but that quickly turned into a seven year old running around the yard playing whatever game we could dream up. Prayers had been answered and I was and am not limited by the accident. Praise the Lord!
As an adult I would and have said, “praise God” and prayed into other things thanking God for the work that he did for my pulling me through the operation. It was just that simple question this week that brought me straight back to a time when I was seven and I chose a different response. I was on a family reunion with me family and we had 20 cousins or so with us in the hills of West Virginia. Some of the parents were going to a prayer meeting in town and for some reason I thought that it sounded like a fun idea. I think it may have been me my parents and my aunt and uncle that went. The message may have been good but I couldn’t tell you the three main points. What I can tell you is the sentence at the end from the person up front. “If you have a sickness or medical issue please come up front I want to pray for you.” Well a seven year old that has no toes can call it like it is and I realized that I had a medical issue that God could heal. I went up and received prayer. [Please put religious preconceptions on hold for a second and listen to the seven year-old tell a story] We circled around and when she prayed for me she simply reached out her hand a few feet from me and prayed for healing. There was something real that happened because with no one touching me I felt a strong warmth come over me and then I couldn’t stand. Luckliy there was a man behind me that caught me but as I rested on the floor I felt the love of God on me and a warmth that could only come from His Spirit. My toes were not healed but as I talked to the man after he mentioned that he’d heard of legs growing out later on after a prayer meeting. I returned to my seat and then later to the camp with my cousins and everything seemed like a normal night with a prayer meeting, all except God reached out that night and showed me his Spirit in a very real way!. Can I leave that time saying God is not a loving God because when I asked he didn’t heal? NO! If I had never gone up there or even gone up there with out the faith of a seven year old I may have reasoned my way out of God being able to show me Himself that night. Not with healing my foot but with a very real demonstration of his love and his power. These two attributes are the very two things that seem to mark the character of God and stand in opposition to our reason!
Faith was attributed to those who prayed with out seeing results. Faith is leaning on God with our problems that are bigger than ourselves. We prayed again last Friday for my toes but Stubby still is there and I still only have to cut five toenails. Yet, as I sat there last week in prayer I felt that same presence of God and I was reminded of the faith of a seven year-old which does not consult medical journals to see how God moves (though I still think medical journals have much worth in this day in age) but through faith is able to believe that the God of power and love through the whole Old and New Testament is the same God that cares for our problems today. I don’t know when or how or even if He will move in all of our issues of life but I am challenged that God loves the faith filled hearts of seven year-olds. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few seven year-olds will have Hebrews 11:39-40 said of them by God, “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” Let’s run back to having faith as a child because it truly is the child that can fully trust their father with everything and our heavenly Father CAN be trusted with everything!