In February, I traveled to Northern Virginia to visit my mom. She’s been receiving treatment and care at an inpatient physical rehabilitation facility. In September 2018, a day or two shy of her 81st birthday, my mom had two back operations. During this visit, my mom had stood without assistance and climbed a set of stairs. This was a significant milestone in her rehabilitation. To reward her progress and efforts, I treated her to a seafood dinner. My mom loves her some fried oysters.
Since I had taken the train for this visit, I had to depart before the standard dinner time at the facility. We were eating dinner early and alone in the facility’s dining room. While my mom was enjoying her oysters, she looked up and noticed an employee from nutrition services working at a table adjacent to us. The woman was preparing the menus for the weekend’s meals. My mom noticed that she was in a great deal of pain. Before I was fully aware of what was happening, my mom said to her, “You appear to be in a great deal of pain. Let me help you with your work.”
With a grimaced face, the woman kindly replied, “My jaw is hurting. You don’t need to help me. Please, enjoy your dinner.”
In an instant, I heard on my spirit, “Go. Lay hands on this woman and pray for her tooth.” I hesitated. I am eating my dinner. I do not know this woman. She will not want me interrupting her work. She will not want me to pray over her. I sat still in my doubt.
In spite of all that has happened in my life over these past three-plus years, I sat motionless in doubt. In spite experiencing one Godly encounter after another, I didn’t move. While I sat doubting, I began to reflect on some of the messages I had heard preached over the past three years. Praying for another person in need is exactly what we are supposed to do in these situations.
I turned to the woman and asked, “Can I come over and pray over you?” Tears welled in her eyes as she replied, “Absolutely!”
I placed a hand on her right shoulder and spoke a prayer. I asked for a healing for this woman. I asked for a special touch that would ease her pain. I asked for comfort that she might feel God’s presence. Those tears that had accumulated at her eyes were now streaming down her face. She was so appreciative that my mom would recognize her plight while she was in the middle of enjoying her reward. She was humbled that I would come over and pray over her situation.
I returned to my meal and reflected on the amount of doubt that rose up inside of me. In the end, it was the little bit of faith to which I still clung that would make a difference. With that little bit of faith, I stood from my chair and approached this stranger. I acted in spite of my doubt. In Matthew 17:20 (ESV), Jesus said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.
It gave me comfort to know that even Peter denied Christ three times. If Peter, a man who walked alongside Jesus; watching miracles being performed; having seen and spoken with Jesus, could deny Him three times, why am I surprised when doubt invades my thinking?
After 20 minutes had passed, this woman reappeared in the dining room with a smile on her face. She thanked me for praying over her. She told me that the pain was less than it had been. She was feeling better.
Yes. We will have doubts. We will try to rationalize as to why we should or should not do certain things. In the end, it is acting in faith (in spite of the doubt) that matters.