27 And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us. 28 And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. 29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. 30 And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it, (Matthew 9:27-30).
As I type, millions are being beaten over the heads with the phrase “Your faith is too small, your faith is too small.” Many end up angry with God or out of the church and sadly, headed for eternal damnation. Let me share the following.
At the 1920 Belgium Olympics, Charlie Paddock from Texas won 3 medals: gold in the 100 m final, silver in the 200 m event and gold with the American 4 x 100 m relay team. Paddock spoke to young people in high schools and touring Ohio, spoke at East Tech High School in Cleveland, Ohio. He threw this challenge to the young people: “Do you know who you are? Well I’m here to tell you. You are children of God. If you think you can, you can! If you believe something strongly enough, it will come to pass in your life. Who knows? Maybe there’s an Olympic champion in this auditorium this afternoon. If you trust God all the way, you can be what you want to be; and that is the plain truth about every one of you.”
This speech set afire a scrawny, frail, skinny little black boy whose initials, J. C., became his first name, Jesse. Said Jesse, “Gee, Mr. Paddock, I’d give anything if I could be an Olympic champion just like you.”
Do you know something? It was that young boy’s moment of inspiration. From that moment on his life was changed! At the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Jesse Owens won 4 gold medals. Check this out: gold in the 100m and 200m sprints and his record in the long jump remained unbeaten or unequaled for a good 24 years.
He returned home to accolades and as he was driven through the streets of Cleveland he also signed autographs. That day a skinny little boy nicknamed “Bones” was close enough to Jesse to say, “Gee, Mr. Owens, I’d give anything to be an Olympic champion just like you.” Jesse simply said, “You know I wanted that when I was about your age. Work hard, train hard, believe, and you can become an Olympic champion.” Bones was so inspired he sprinted all the way home to his grandma saying, “I’m going to become an Olympic champion.”
What happened? At London, England’s famed Wembley Stadium in 1948, six men were on their marks, waiting for the starter’s gun to blast “Go!” When it did “Bones,” real name Harrison Dillard, bested all and, check this out, tied Jesse Owens’s Olympic record that day. Do I need to say that he went on to break several more records?
Jesus is saying to you this week, “According to your faith be it unto you.” Note this, please: this is not about positive thinking or attitude. Sure, a positive attitude can lift us all up to heights we would not otherwise reach in our efforts but, it may not take all of us to Jesse’s or Bones’ level of success. If I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13), then I have to wait on the Lord who makes all things beautiful in its time (Eccl. 3:11). So don’t let some preacher tell you that you are not a success because your faith is too small. Trust in the Lord and He will help your unbelief (Mark 9:24).
Proposed prayer: “Dear Father, the year is still rolling on and it all seems bleak. Please help me to see what you want me to achieve with my life. I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, so please help me be patient in waiting on You and give me the focus, boldness, courage and determination to pursue Your plan with all my heart for your glory. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Have a blessed week.