It was the most beautiful show of faith that I had ever seen.
I had received a challenge from a friend of mine to pray for five people, then later tell them that I was praying for them. She was one of those people, and one that I assumed was not a Christian. She is a dear, dear friend of mine, one who I thought I could bless by being there to help her and to guide her and to pray for her. Recently, it seems as though God has turned the tables; she is now blessing me more than she could ever imagine.
It is near finals time, and all semester she has been having issues with administration and with grades overall, to the point where one of her advisors suggested that she “prepare for the situation in which the Institute may ask her to leave.” Yes, it was that bad. And I was praying that she would find strength, and that God would show her a miracle.
I told her I was praying for her almost two weeks ago. To be honest, I was surprised by how well she took that statement. Usually if I tell a non-Christian that I’m praying for them (as most of them know I’m a Christian), I will get the polite nod and empty, “okay,” as they know that won’t help them at all. But she genuinely said, “thank you,” as she hugged me, and I sent up a quick prayer of thanksgiving for my dear friend. I still didn’t think she knew Jesus.
It turns out that I was not quite far from the truth, yet farther than I could have ever guessed. Tonight, as I sat with her, copying her problem set as I myself had neither the intention nor the initiative to actually learn the material, I said to her suddenly, “I want to be more like you.”
She laughed and turned to look at me. “What, failing almost all your classes?” Admittedly I’m doing much better than she is on this scale, but I shook my head.
“No,” I said as I looked at her. “You’re such a hard worker.”
“Well, it took me a while to get here-”
“But you didn’t give up. You still work hard. I wish I could be like that. My situation has never been as bad as yours and yet I give up constantly.” She had also recently gotten a fantastic score on a math test – things were really turning around for her.
She smiled then, and shrugged. “Well, yeah, it’s hard ’cause there are so many people around me who tell me that I should just quit, and I tell myself that sometimes too. But I keep pushing myself. Plus, I keep believing that there’s Someone up there who cares about me.”
To say I was surprised was an understatement. I asked cautiously, “So, you’re a Christian?”
Again, she shrugged. “I was raised in a ‘Christian’ home, but my mom believes in the idea that the important thing is that there is a God, that God loves everyone, and that we should see the miracles in our lives and be thankful to Him for them. Especially with some issues that happened in the past, I’m hesitant to identify myself as a Christian. But I do believe that there is a God, and there are too many miracles that have happened to get me and my family past horrible situations that I cannot believe otherwise.”
I nodded in understanding, but my mind was blown. This was faith – believing without seeing, and for such a long time as she has. Her mountains are only just moving, but they are surely moving with her faith that is as small as a mustard seed. I have seen what Jesus meant by that, and it is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
She wasn’t finished. “Of course, when I finally have enough money to support myself and my mom, maybe then I’ll sit down and actually define what I believe. But for now, I’m just believing in that much.” I told her, with as much confidence as I could put in my voice, that she would get there. And I do believe that God is in her future, waiting to meet her there.
I will continue praying for her, that is true. But my prayer has changed a bit: dear God, rain blessings down on Your daughter, who has blessed me and shown me what it is to truly have a child-like faith in Your promises. Continue to hold her in Your arms, and when she is ready, please show Yourself to her in an undeniable way. May it be in Your perfect timing, Father.
In Jesus’ name,