Teeth! I love em.
And they are first in our Fresh Faith February stories today...
As is this guy
With the Brilliant Smile.
And Precious Heart.
God teaches me so much from my son Bruik. Especially when he bows his head and speaks so clearly and simply to God. He simply asks for what his heart desires. And God, being a good and loving Father responds to His little son.
Sometimes...Many times... I learn from Bruik for his requests seem like "BIG" ones to me. There is no hesitation with this little one. He just reaches out his hand in response to a sickness need with a "well we need to talk to God about that" and then he clearly says the need to God and expects God's hand to heal, to change, to come, to provide.
He "gets" the simplicity of prayer ~ that it is speaking God's heart back to Him. And he has understanding of how mighty yet responsive God is to answer His children. After all, if Bruik is hungry and he asks for food, his mommy gives him food ~ how would God be different? Is he not the BEST of the Fathers' hearts?
In this one, I begin to see that mustard seed that Christ spoke about ~ that belief that may seem small but that GROWS into a mighty tree that provides shade to all around it--that grows up and then the birds come and land and rest inside on the branches. Although God has given me my own little seeds to steward and plant,I do find myself resting on the "branches" of my children's faith at times. Jesus gave us the example of a little child as being the greatest in the kingdom of God so I do well to seriously study their little hearts and to see how my faith needs to grow more in their way...
But, among the adult hearts I know, how many times do we truly ASK for what we need? Why could it be that Jesus needed to say, "You do not have for you do not ask." ?
What seeds do we need to pick up and sow into the ground of asking and believing prayer?
What inquiries could I be making of God ~ that will astound and bless my heart when they are all grown out and mature?
This little seed...what fruit could I one day be picking? What shade to rest in? What sturdy branch to swing from? What other seeds to sow?
Why at times did I pull my hand back from the bowl of seeds, and place it back in my pocket.. not daring to ask, to envision, to dream this way with my perfect Father?? What happened to my heart???!! How did I believe wrongly? What good is a seed unless it is planted in the ground? What made me spill my bowl of seeds at times and hold them carelessly, not planting, just turning them over and and over and wondering over them. Who taught me to take a magnifying glass to each one in search for the life inside (for the "what ifs"....what if it doesn't come to life?...what if you don't get healed?...what if after the wait God doesn't come through?)
When God speaks of asking,... of Faith, He has promised that ANY seed sown within His will, in faith is a viable one. It contains the life of what IS to come in Him. For faith IS SURE, "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see" (Hebrews 11:1) And so I too...can be SURE. I am heard, I am loved. That the seeds of my faith will be answered by my loving Father.
Don't tell Bruik you are sick or have some other need and expect to not get loved on. Expect a little hand to be laid on you and our "Gift from God" (his name's meaning") to reach out in prayer for you. And expect to be propped up in the comfy recliner in the den to be promptly covered in blankets and stuffed animals--its cosy under those layers, let me tell you! :)
We have been noticing as we are reading through the gospels this semester as a family how this was Jesus' way as well. He would stop important meetings to attend to a little daughter of a gentile military commander, or a sick women who reached out in a press of people, or a blind man that he healed even though it was the Sabbath, or the short tax collector sitting in a tree with a heart in need of a fix. Some of my favorite verses are when Jesus looks over the crowd, knowing all of their needs--individual and collective and "had compassion on them for they were like sheep without a shepherd."
He stops to feed a multitude. He stops to heal the one. And often the Bible says, "He healed them ALL." And not only the "holy" ones who think they have most favor with God...not only the worst cases...but even the cases that might seem small...but have aggravated them for years...even those...His heart is to heal them ALL.
Do a little study to see for yourself--the day I did I no longer doubted this part of His character--he longs to heal us to make us whole in EVERY way, including physically. (Matthew 12:15, Matthew 4:24, Luke 4:40, Luke 6:19, Matthew 15:30, Luke 6:17, Psalm 103:3...)
We are blessed to have Bruik's example here . His pure faith that moves God's heart ~ here's an example of one gift that God worked through little Bruik's faith in Him this year...and how it effected my own heart to reach for more...
It was a normal Sunday morning a couple months back and in the flurry of dropping off and picking up of each of our little ones into their individual classes, we usually only get short visits with each teacher. But this Sunday our teacher, the husband of the couple that teaches Bruik's class yelled down the hall as we came toward the classroom. "Come HERE, Come HERE!! I GOT to tell you something!!!" He pulled on our clothing and moved us along through the door. He was EXCITED.
Jimmy (name changed) told us that recently he had been in a car accident. At the time of the accident his jaw and mouth had slammed in to the wheel and dashboard of the car. His jaw was injured and his teeth were push up into his mouth -- impacted in there. He had been living with great pain. He had been to a dentist who had taken x-rays and examined him and said that he was going to need dental surgery to make things safe and right in his mouth. Disheartened, he signed up for a surgery appointment for the following Monday and spent that Friday and Saturday in a lot of pain.
On Sunday, he almost did not come to church because of all the pain he was in. But he chose to push through and showed up to his class of Kindergarten and first graders. While he was going through the Sunday School time, he mentioned that his teeth really hurt and that he was going to get them fixed at the surgeon tomorrow....
He said, the moment he mentioned this, Bruik sprang into action mode. He started calling out in class, "Everyone gather around. Right now! Lay your hands on Jimmy and lets pray for his teeth." He pulled and arranged all the little kids and had the whole class stand around Jimmy, laying their little hands on him. And then he proceeded to ask God to heal Jimmy, to straighten up his teeth, to take away his pain."
Simple prayers, simple hearts, lots of love and urgency to pray.
Jimmy was really ministered to by the love of his Sunday School students. And the gift was "germinating" for God was pleased to answer their prayers!
Jimmy recalled to us as he squeezed our arms and hugged Bruik and yelled out praise all unashamed and completely without any sense of bashfulness in that busy hallways with other families all pressing around us to pick up kids...that AS HE DROVE home the pain started to diminish IN HIS MOUTH. By the time he was home he was almost out of pain. By that evening there was no pain. His teeth looked fine! He was confident the prayers had been answered!!!!
He went to the appointment the next day at the Surgeon's office who now could find NOTHING wrong in Jimmy's mouth. The Surgeon is a Doctor who believes in God's healing power and he said that there was no doubt about it that God had done a miracle here.
Not only did Jimmy have a healed mouth and a testimony to God's goodness but he was not going to have to pay for an expensive surgery--this had been a great burden to think about previously.
"Look!!...LOOK in my mouth, he shouted!! I'm healed!! I just can't get over it! God is SO good!!"
We bear hugged and tears welling over the Goodness of Jesus to answer the prayers of little ones to heal this man's mouth. There was great JOY in the Sunday School hallway that day!!!!
Bruik smiled kind of bashful but really happy for his friend. He did not look too surprised at the news. Of course he got healed , was his expression. :)
That request, that has come to your heart. It CAN be attended to in the name and power of Jesus.
May we encourage you to take a seed from the "bowl" of your heart and plant it in prayerful faith in Him?
I can see the tree...
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (from Ephesians 3)