You've all heard about the placebo effect, right? It's a term mostly used in the medical community to describe what happens when a patient has a positive response to an inert treatment. In other words, patients have reported having improved symptoms, less pain and even healing of their ailments in response to taking a pill with absolutely no medicine in it.
It proves that our perception is what is important. How faith, something physically intangible, can have dramatic physical effects.
I read another recent study that suggests that our bodies respond to food based on our beliefs and feelings about that food. These results are preliminary but based on the findings, one can deduce that there is a high likelihood that we've been missing a huge link between brain and body when it comes to our physical functioning.
Just like in the placebo effect, people are effected more by what they believe than what is actually happening. It's not the pill that cures them, it's the faith that heals them. Our beliefs are powerful, faith is powerful. Our thoughts are formidable and they can work either for us or against us...more than we realize.
So many of us are walking around blindly. We don't see the truth and realize the full potential of our faith. When the blind man came to Jesus, Jesus asked him "What do you want me to do for you?"
"I want to see," he said.
I'm taking a creative liberty here but in my mind Jesus smiles. He knows that this man believes that anything is possible and so he heals him. He does the impossible. Afterwards, he doesn't say, "I've healed you, now go on with your life."
He said, "Your FAITH has healed you." There is no doubt that the man would not have been healed if he didn't believe it was possible.
We often expect it to be the other way around, that God should heal us first and then we throw our faith into the equation. "Prove yourself God! And then we'll believe!" Our prayers are often less powerful because our belief is less powerful. Jesus said, "All things are possible to him that believes." All things. Not some things. Not most things except for the really hard stuff.
No, all things, even that which we didn't even know was possible!
Next to this guarantee, our dreams and prayers are woefully small. I know that I often put boundaries around my prayers. I say, "God...please heal my Aunt Doris...if you can." I start to forget that the creator of all things can do literally anything and I say, "Yeah, but we've got to have some logic about this. It's not like he can make me leap tall buildings in a single bound." And that is my problem.
While many things seem impossible and unreasonable, God is asking us, begging us to come to him with the perspective of the blind man, knowing with all of our hearts that nothing is without possibility or out of his boundaries. I can't ask God to perform miracles and the then try to handcuff him with my disbelief and restrictions.
Can you imagine what we could all accomplish, what miracles would transpire, to what heights we could reach if we really did believe that through him all things are possible. Literally?
It's ironic that I can see yet I am so blind to the what God has to offer me.
I don't like to admit it but when I pray and God doesn't answer my prayer in the way that I would have hoped, there is a small part of me that assumes it's because he can't. That's a huge mistake. Indeed, he could make someone return from the dead if he wanted! I just have to accept that he didn't answer on purpose because there is a reason that I can't quite wrap my head around right now. His not answering a prayer does not disprove his power.
Yesterday I went to see the doctor. My ear was painfully inflamed. The doctor took one look and said, "You've got an outer ear infection." "An OUTER ear infection?" I said. "I mean, I've had plenty of experience with inner ear infections. I didn't know you could get one on the outside!?" "Oh yes," she said.
I shrugged my shoulders as she wrote my prescriptions. It seemed I had somehow contracted something that I didn't even know I could get. And isn't it like that with God as well? There are so many things that he could do, so many possibilities that I can't even fathom. Just because I don't know they are possible doesn't mean they aren't!
So, perhaps I need a prescription for faith. I need to swallow that pill every single morning and believe with all of my mind, body and soul that anything is possible, that if he wanted me to, I could jump over a tall building. This is where the magic happens, when we throw all reason out the window and look past the laws of physics and peer into the possibilities of Christ. There is a place where we have boundless potential. It's the birthplace of miracles and that place is one step away from where we are right now. It's lives in the second we let go and jump, falling, falling, falling into the deep and endless competence of God.