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Faith and... miracles?

In my doubt

in my fear

my troubled heart

I know You hear


In the storm

You come to me,

in the Storm

Your artistry still I see


All the waves

a stroke of Your brush,

their roaring crash

in Your presence they hush


You walked on water

not to cause doubt,

You walked on water

so we might cry out


To have our doubts settled

and know our faith is true,

when in our cry of fear

we’re answered by You


 

Recently a prayer of mine has been for my trust towards God’s omnipotence in my life to grow. For my faith to go deeper.


The answer to this prayer has come in ways of faith-restorative challenges and joy-restorative divine intervention, or miracle, one might say. I’m choosing to say.


 

I’m not sure what triggered my doubt, but I found myself questioning, “Jesus, did you really walk on water? Like really?


I was pretty troubled when this doubt popped into my mind. I desired only to trust deeper, yet this major fault in the infrastructure of my faith arose. Would this break me? Send me back into the spiritually insecure creature I had been? The life undelightened and secularly skeptical towards who Jesus is?


I did not want this. I wanted this doubt dispelled. I wanted to believe Jesus walked on water. To truly trust. Not ignorantly push the doubt back down into the hole of compiled doubts and resentments towards my adolescent faith insecurities.

To grow my faith, I knew this hole had to be excavated.


So instead of beating myself up over this valid doubt (as I would have when I was younger) I confronted my doubt with boldness. I acknowledged this unknown as a question I needed answered, and believed would be answered.


I told God exactly how I was feeling. I asked for my doubt to be diminished. I asked for understanding. I turned to God’s word, John 6:16-21 being the main scripture over which I meditated.


It's a pretty casual presentation of Jesus' supremacy. Not much context is given, just that in the midst of a roughening sea, the disciples “saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water…”1


I read over it. Again and again. Seeking deeper understanding. Desiring it to be more than a Sunday school story to accept at face value.


Reading over this scripture, heart tuned to understanding deeper, I began to not just simply read the words. I began to visualize them. I could see Jesus walk out onto the water. Jesus, who I know to be God incarnate. Jesus, stepping from the shore, out to his disciples, in the midst of the storm. Maker of the waves come down to walk upon them. To meet his frightened people and deliver them to safety.


It seemed so obvious in that delightened moment. As Jesus was strengthening the disciples faith in this moment of gentle authority, so too does Jesus desire to strengthen ours through walking on the water. Jesus did not walk out onto the water to create doubt. Jesus walked out onto the waters so that our faith may grow, through faith in who He is. That our faith may become as deep as the very waters he walked over to rescue and reassure us, "It is I; don't be afraid."2


 

So that was faith-restorative challenge #1

Faith-restorative challenge #2 came in way of automobile miracle the following day


 

I left my house Thursday evening as dusk was beginning to make itself known over the land. My long distance best friend, Brooke, was visiting home, so we were gathering at her parent’s house for the evening.


About two minutes after pulling out of my driveway, I feel my car run over something unseen. My car I had just replaced a blown out tire on about four months prior.


Glancing in my rearview mirror, I didn’t see anything behind me.

Shrugging, I turned my attention back towards my windshield, and immediately I noticed my low tire pressure light was alerting me on my dashboard.


“Oh joy,” was my immediate sarcastic thought. Followed directly by the 100 concerns that are somehow capable of consuming 10 seconds of thought. You know the type… does this mean I can’t visit with my friends tonight? How late does AAA tow? Is this going to be a costly repair? Okay. This is what savings are for. But like... I don’t have that much saved. Will one of my parents let me borrow their car? Is it a bad idea to continue driving? How far can I make it? Did I buy a faulty car?


So, responsibly, as I’m trying more so to be with cars, I pulled over.


Hopping out of my car, I did a quick scan of my tires with my oh-so mechanically trained eyes, determined they all look fine, and hopped back into my car. I allowed myself a momentary naïve breath of relief before dialing my dad’s phone (as we do when in automobile doubt). I was answered by my mom who advised me to a) be careful and b) check over everything carefully when I get to Brooke’s house.


Making it there in one piece and zero evident problems, I parked and proceeded to find the wisdom I needed in that moment: Brooke’s dad. And he happened to be the first person I came across. Before I’m even finished relaying my (probably) overdramatized story to Brian, his mental helping-dad gears were already shifting into place.


Leaving my car, keys, and automobile fate in his helping hands, I awaited the diagnosis while catching up with my friends.

His initial run down determined my front passenger tire was significantly lower than the rest. Resting at (a definitely decreasing) 25 PSI.


Topping off all the tires to the 35 PSI they should be at, he ensured we'll check them all again before I leave their house.


Another momentary naïve breath of relief.


Later that evening, Brian came out to where my friends and I were gathered around the fire.

“What’s the diagnosis, doctor?” I asked.


It wasn’t a great one.


“You’ve got a nail in your tire,” he informed me.


“Oh joy,” the sarcastic inner monologue voiced again - this time out loud I’m pretty sure.


“Do you want to come see?” He asked.

Sighing in accepting reluctance, “sure,” I responded.


I followed him to my car and saw that, sure enough, I had a nail wedged into the tread of my front passenger tire.


Again, the concerning questions come pounding. Plans. Work. Repairs. Costs. AAA.


Brian does some sort of quick sealant over the nail to ensure I can get home, provides his fatherly advice I am so grateful for, and his work is done. He has completed his helpful fatherly duty it is such a privilege to benefit from.


My drive home consisted of a) trust I would make it there with no flat tire and b) attempt to mentally and methodically prepare for the busy day to follow.


Dark and early, the following day arrived.


It was raining, of course, as I drove my dad’s car to my 6:30am opening shift at the coffee shop. I was disheveled and stressed about not having my own car. Feeling the pressure of doing everything I had committed to being a part of that day without my personal vehicle. Worried my joy would leak out as if the nail was in me, not my tire.


As I decided not to fear my doubt of Jesus walking on water, I again chose to confront my insecurities rather than suppress them.


Praying in the silence of the car, I said, “Lord, I have this nail in my tire. Like literally, but also, I’m feeling it in myself. I have a dread towards the day ahead, and I need You to restore and sustain my joy. I fear my joy will leak because of this.” The prayer continued, “God, I trust You to patch my tire. To patch my presence, my vessel, so joy will be full throughout this day. To prevent these leakages of joy I do fear, because life without Your fullness is a most dreaded state of being.”


This was my prayer. I sought joy. I sought the nail of dread and insecurity to be patched.


Before opening the shop doors for the day, I checked my phone to blessedly learn that my mother was able to take my car to the tire shop before she went into work.


“Keep me updated,” I gratefully asked.


The buzz of the day began. I chose to trust joy would be present.


I was blessed by unexpected morning devotions happening in the shop, being led by a great friend and sister of mine. And again I was joyed by the (expected and most welcomed) arrival of my coworker I’ve quickly grown to recognize as another blessed sister figure.


An hour or so after first hearing from my mom, I checked my phone for an update, expecting the simple fix to be complete, but instead I found this message:


“They couldn’t find a nail or leak in the tire.”


I read it again.

I read it out loud to my coworkers whom I had just told about the nail in my tire.


I was momentarily in disbelief. Then I was humbled.

There was no leak in my tire. No nail in my tire.


 

Using the word miracle feels foreign to me. Like what? All I know is Thursday night there was a nail in my tire and some sort of leak to accompany it. Friday morning, neither of these issues were present.


I do not know how God patched my tire, removed the nail, not with my limited understanding of God’s “how.” I just know He did. In His “how” that’s really not meant for me to understand or speculate over. Only for me to receive… and give thanks for.


I could doubt this experience as the hand of God, or I could accept this divine intervention as the grace it is. As the response to prayer for my faith to grow. I’m choosing to let this experience deepen my faith. To believe Jesus walked on water. To believe God can easily patch up a tire too.





References

  1. John 6: 18-18

  2. John 6:20


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