I was recently talking to an African missionary who told me that miracles happen all the time there. People expect them. Today’s New Testament in a Year reading reminded me that the faith of the subject plays an important role in a miracle even when Jesus is standing right there.

Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you.” (Matthew 9:29, NRSV)

I forgot to mention it, but Saturday, when the forecast was for all-day thunderstorms but we had a mission fundraiser carnival to host, God kept the day beautiful and sunny until the carnival was over, then the sky darkened and the bottom fell out! I think miracles happen for those who have the faith to count on them. In less affluent nations, the population hasn’t been hardened with distrust, and scientific cynicism hasn’t been taught into them since childhood, along with myths like holiday icons and a world of feel-good lies like we tell our children. When Westerners come of age, no wonder so many don’t believe in miracles! We’ve clouded ourselves with disappointments like Santa Claus, “happily ever after,” and “monsters aren’t real.” We’ve trained ourselves that such happy promises are too good to be true.

We aren’t the first perpetrators of these lies; we are merely passing on the lies we were told by the generation before us. We have to ask ourselves, though, how anyone could believe in the invisible God we serve when we make up such other invisible heroes. A calling to share the hope of God’s truth comes with a responsibility to be truthful. There is no such thing as a harmless lie!

Dear Father, today, empower me to overcome the doubt onto which I have trained myself to cling so tightly. Help me to be vigilant about living a life of integrity, so that my testimony would bring You glory, never shame, and never hindrance to the faith of one of Your children.