Matthew has spent years proclaiming the gospel of Christ to the villages of India with little results. After many hours of prayer and hard work, Matthew had only one faithful convert. Matthew did not understand what God was doing. He knew he had been called to this place. God why did you send me here knowing there were be so little response?
Then the situation got worse. Matthew’s only convert became very sick. The doctors tried to save him but the man died anyway. Matthew was devastated and cried out to God:
What are you doing God? Now my only convert is dead?
After four days, the body was prepared for burial. As the village gathered around the body, God spoke to Matthew’s heart,
At first Matthew was uncomfortable with the request because he did not consider himself to be a great man of faith. Then again,
Go, uncover his face and pray.
Matthew pushed back the fear and follow the Lord’s leading. He walked up to the body, uncovered the man’s face, and prayed, “Lord, in obedience to You, I lay my hands on this man and I ask for you to heal him in the name of Jesus. Amen.”
The words barely got out of Matthew’s mouth when the man gasped for air. Matthew was astonished. And the village…well they will never be the same again.
In His timing, God had answered the cries from Matthew’s heart for the people of his village. There was no question in anyone’s mind that Matthew’s God was real and powerful. There, in that moment, a whole new church was born.
When I heard this present day miracle over the holidays, my heart leaped for joy. And as I pondered what happen, these two truths seemed to pop out.
· The way God handles ministry can often be misunderstood because of His timing. We go in expecting the immediate results. If we do not see progress, we assume we made a mistake. Sometimes, we do not take into account the need for periods of intercession as well as learning about and getting to know the people/situation we are to serve.
· Matthew did not lay his hands on the dead man because he had great faith in himself. He did it out of obedience and confidence/faith in God’s words and abilities. So often when God wants to do the miraculous, we hold back by putting the spotlight on our lack and not on God’s abundance. The power for this mighty miracle came with Matthew simply surrendering to what God had asked him to do.
This story gave me hope. Those things, which I have been praying for and waiting to manifest, are still under God’s care. And in the end, it is not about building great faith in my abilities but in God’s. When God asks me to step up and act, His creative miracles are ready to come forth to do the impossible.