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FAITH: WHAT REMAINS WHEN ALL IS GONE , Vivian  Ijeoma  Ohaeri

That you’re alive is an indication that there is still hope. It means that there is at least one more minute, one more hour and even one more day at your disposal to do something about your situation. And if you feel there is nothing you can do, you absolutely are not right.

Look over there…Right there! In John 5: 1- 8. Look by the Sheep Gate, that is the story of the man who sat at the pool of Bethzatha for 38years. He was in a very bad situation as he had no one to help him into the healing water due to his inability to walk. He definitely even felt that a blind man who can walk has a greater chance at getting into the pool before him. But what did he do? He stayed by the pool all the while, perhaps, he thought “One day all who are lame, blind, sick or diseased would have got their healing and he would be the one left and then take the chance of getting into the pool”. Maybe that is what he said, maybe not, but what did he say to Jesus Christ when he approached him? “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred; so while I am still on my way, another step down before me.” Now this means he has little hope of ever getting into the water first, but what kept him there all those years? Faith. Yes, faith that one day he would be healed. Perhaps he knew it might not be through the waters of the pool because the question he answered was a direct interrogation from Jesus asking “Do you want to be healed?”

Based on his reply to Jesus, we could deduced that he wished to be healed but he did not foresee his healing coming so soon from the stirring of the pool. Note that in this passage, Jesus did not use His usual phrase “Your faith has made you well.” No! However I want to belief that all the healings Jesus ever did were because he saw faith, had pity or delved into the heart of the sick person. In this case, Jesus delved into this man’s heart and saw that he knew he would one day be healed even if he doubted that he was going to get it by entering the pool first. I imagined how many times he struggled on his elbows or stomach to get into the pool only to return back the same way. I imagine how he and others intently kept staring at the pool for the sign of a water moving like it was being stirred. This man remained there however because he had nothing else but the faith that he would One day leave that place walking on his feet.

When there’s nothing else to hang on to, stick to Faith.

Moreover, let us leave the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem and head on to Jericho. There it is! In Mark 10: 46- 52, someone is shouting. Who is that? Ah! Look it is the blind Bartimaeus. Hear how loudly he shouts? See how many people scold him? People who just want to hear and see Jesus perform miracles, perhaps! But they have forgotten that there is a great show that could come from helping poor Bartimaeus meet with Jesus Himself. Bartimaeus however ignored them and kept shouting “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Blind Bartimaeus knew he was a sinner, he knew he had nothing or no one to help him but his faith. Now, I so much love Bartimaeus’ faith because he is the ‘literal’ example of Jesus’ saying “Blessed are those who do not see, but yet believe.”

However, hear what the people say to him after Jesus called for him, they say ” Take heart. Get up, he is calling you.” At once many of them must have begun to admire his faith because he fought for his situation himself knowing he had nothing and no one else to help him but his faith in crying out to be heard by God. God in heaven must have heard Blind Bartimaeus’ voice and opened the ear of Jesus to hear him loud and clear despite the noisy crowd or may it had been written before Christ’s coming, but Blind Bartimaeus had to trigger that prophecy. When he approached Jesus, he answered” Master, let me see again!” when Jesus asked what he wanted him to do for him. Wow! He did not say “Master, can you heal me?” “Master can you help me?” He had already cried for mercy while sitting and God had heard him by calling him out, and so he made a direct request as he walked towards Jesus in faith. And that is how Bartimaeus (having regained his sight) joined the crowd, following Jesus along the road as he made to leave Jericho with his disciples.

What can be said about your own faith? Even if you find it hard to have faith based on the happenings around you, why not let the faith of others help you back up like the faith of the friends of the paralytic man in Mark 2:1-5? Many of our priests, friends, family members are standing there as well, trying to help us build our faith back.  We may be ignoring their support thinking all hope is lost, but we are still alive?

Remember this, whenever you lose faith: When everyone including yourself sees that you have nothing else but you are still having the breath of God in you, God wants to see something that no one else could see for His heart to be moved; He wants to see your believe in Him as your Provider and Shepherd. Never ask God for anything in doubts, ask in faith. No situation is impossible for God to do. All He needs to see is a mustard seed shaped faith shining in your heart, in your tears, in your eyes, in your prayers, in your proclamation and even in your deep sighs and silence. He who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all we could ask or imagine will do it for you.

Walk in faith. Breathe in faith. Live in faith. Die in faith.

 

 

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