it was a little fuzzy at first. but then, it started coming in a little clearer. able to feed a crowd with naught but a few fish and some bread. able to heal an entire village in a single afternoon. able to cast out the dark demons that hold people prisoner. able to be whisked away from a place in the blink of an eye. able to raise a person from the dead.
this is the picture i got about a week ago. it suddenly clicked into place. and then it made me wonder, why doesn't this happen more frequently? why do we not live as heroes? not to blame us, or induce guilt with this age old question, but... is our faith really so weak?
for those true skeptics among us, who question the authenticity of the supernatural occurances and have a preference for more "natural" explanations, that is not the bent of this post. i have already heard true account, witnessed, and experienced too much true supernatural occurance to believe those explanations. if you have not, i am sorry. but your non-experience does not counteract my experience in this case. so i am starting from the place that these occurances happened in real time and space and were recorded for us faithfully and accurately.
my grandfather had a moment once, when my mother was still a child living at home, when they were very poor, and people strangely kept showing up at the home asking to share in their meal. all they had was one small bowl of noodles for their own family, but as each person came, they offered what they had and after something ridiculous like 13 people who "just happened" to stop by, the bowl was still not empty. true story. this happened in real time and space.
my father was planning suicide at age 18. he was driving his car towards a tree on the outskirts of the small town he lived in. the last thing he remembers seeing is the speedometer buried at 120 and closing his eyes seconds before impact only to open them and find himself in the middle of town at a red light. true story. this happened in real time and space.
from what i gather, according to the biblical accounts, we should be able to provide for a person's health. to keep them alive. food and healing. we should have mastery over the elements, or at the very least, water. walking on it. stopping it from falling from the sky. turning it into wine. this is just a short list, but when grouped together, i get a very different picture of those who "walk in the spirit" on a moment to moment basis from what has classically been taught.
where is the disconnect? what happened between then and now? jesus said that among this small list of things he did, we would also be able to do. but he also said that we would be able to do even greater things than these, because he was going to the father. well, he's now with the father. and i think, the question he put forth by jesus, "...when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” resounds even more heavily today than it did back then.
recently, lorena commented at towards truth "Unfortunately, what Jesus supposedly did, his followers can't reproduce..." how true that statement is. but i don't think it is because it can't be done. i just think we don't know how. we haven't practiced. we don't have the faith. and real faith can make things that are not reality, reality. need an everyday example? take walking up the stairs in the dark. when you lose count, can't see that you're already on top, and take another step that is full of faith and expectation that there is another step, you take a step and slam your foot down on the floor in a manner that you cannot reproduce naturally. try it. no matter how many times you try to convince yourself there is a step and recreate the sensation, you can't do it because you don't truly believe. you don't have faith.
but at the same time, how are we to have faith? how can we believe in something we've never seen? i think it's fair to say we've never seen anyone walk on water. or feed and heal a village. so how do we have faith enough to accomplish these things? can we call them "abilities"? how do we have faith in these abilities, or "gifts", if we have no mentors or training grounds?
i mean, even if you've ever had the inkling twitch in you, no matter how small, to try to heal someone, have you ever actually given it a shot and walked up to someone in a wheel chair, grabbed their hand, pulled and said, "walk!" ? and did this with FULL CONFIDENCE AND EXPECTATION that it would happen? because i think that's the key element. especially for the big things. that's why, in my opinion, jesus clears the room before he raises the little girl from the dead. he needed the doubt out of the room so it could be filled with faith doing its work.
so what are the practical applications? where are the teachers and mentors? where are the training grounds? what are the "greater things than these" that were promised? how does this fit together with who we are? how does one discover these abilities and grow in them? and how does it affect you as you learn?
is anyone willing to be vulnerable and share experiences or say that they, at the very least, think they may have an ability so we might begin discussion towards a practical fulfillment? because i know i have abilities. and i would like to talk about it, with the hope of coming towards an understanding of practical application.
Devotional Thought : Numbers 1:51
1 day ago