Blog #37 Taking Him At His Word
My younger son has always been oozing with personality. Even as a wee little one, he displayed unending curiosity and laughter. At age three, he tipped the adorable scale and I made an executive decision.
I told him he wasn’t allowed to turn four.
I explained that he was too cute at age three for him to get any older. During those remaining months, I often reminded him of my ruling, leaving us both giggling.
The night before his birthday, though, I was tucking him in for bed and he burst into tears. Sobbing, uncontrollable tears. After he calmed down, he pleaded with me to let him turn four.
With the saddest eyes, he whispered, “Please, Mommy. I promise to be cute at age four.”
I was taken aback. He truly thought I could alter the aging process! I stifled my laughter and immediately consoled him, promising him that age four was definitely on tomorrow’s horizon.
The relief was palpable.
As I kissed him goodnight, I realized he had done something very simple, yet powerful. He had taken me at my word. He had no facts to back it up; no friends that had been banned from aging. Yet he believed it. And apparently as the day of reckoning approached, his heart was grieved.
Taking someone at his/her word can lead to increasing amounts of peace or dread depending on the content. It can be an impressive force in shaping our attitudes and ultimately our actions.
But it doesn’t happen by accident.
We have to intentionally choose it. And in choosing it, there’s often one specific characteristic lurking nearby. We find it in John 4.
There was a royal official, from Capernaum, whose son was was dying. He learned that Jesus was about 15 miles away in Cana, so he made the trek. Repeatedly he begged Jesus to come back with him until, finally, Jesus encouraged him to go home. He was told his son would live.
The verse says, “The man took Jesus as His word and departed” (v.50)
On the way home, the man’s servants greeted him with the good news. The fever was gone! The official asked when he became well and learned it was the exact time Jesus had proclaimed his healing.
That simple act led to a profound experience.
The royal official took Jesus at His word and it changed his life, his son’s life and his family’s life (v.53).
Taking Jesus at His word can be life changing, but it isn’t always easy. Maybe you have never done it before, or your issue feels too big for Him to tackle. Or maybe you have been disappointed in the past and doubt He is trustworthy.
If you feel your trust is lacking, remember the official didn’t have any! The man was asking for help while simultaneously introducing himself! There wasn’t time or occasion for the him to establish trust. Rather, the reason he took Jesus at His word was simple:
He was desperate.
His son was dying. His options had run out. He heard a guy had turned water into wine and took a chance on Him. But make no mistake, desperation motivated him. And more often than not, desperation motivates us.
And that’s ok.
There is no shame in desperation. You won’t be chastised for it. And you certainly won’t be the first to have it. So, embrace it. Let it be a catalyst to trust Him. What do you have to lose? If your situation won’t change without intervention from Him, then give Him a chance to intervene.
The greater the longing, the more willing we are to take a chance on the hope that is being offered. And Jesus is in the business of offering hope.
You can take my word on that.
Ask Him for help. Be specific. Take a chance.
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