Ministry Blog

Inventors in Faith

Posted by Robert Jones on

Our family recently moved into a new rental house and as we were getting ready to close the front door for the last time I said, "Why don't we do one last once-thru."  I'm not sure if I coined the phrase "once-thru" myself or if I heard it from someone else and stole it, but it started when we were itinerating as missionaries in 2002.  During that year we booked an average of 22 appointments a month with churches and pastors to explain our vision.  This meant that is was necessary for us to be on the road about four days a week living in hotels.  

Our first two children were only two and three years old at the time and so we had a ton of toddler accessories to load along with our luggage.  Many of these accessories would be shoved down into the sheets of the hotel bed, or under the bed, or down inside the pillow case, or in the bottom of the bathtub or even tossed into various garbage cans for no reason whatsoever.  It was a pain to buy new accessories at every Walmart along our tour so we worked hard to preserve as much as we could.  So each morning before we jumped into the mini-van I began saying "Let's go through the hotel room one more time."  After saying this a hundred times it turned into, "Let's do a once-thru."

There were many more inventive ideas that came out of that unique time in our lives, and we have passed on all our little tricks of the trade to other evangelists and missionaries.  Being in a position of desperation is a great motivator that God has used repeatedly in the lives of believers to compel them toward change and perhaps even miracles.

The Bible says that there was a woman who had suffered from bleeding for many years and used all her money to find a cure to no avail.  She was desperate.  

Mark 5:27 says "When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, 'If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.' Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was free from her suffering."  

To this point there is no record of anyone being healed by simply touching the garment of a spiritual leader or prophet.  This does not mean it had never taken place, but according to biblical records it wasn't common practice.  The disciples were certainly not expecting someone to try this because they said to Jesus, "You see the crowding against you, and yet you ask 'Who touched me?'"  Even Jesus seemed surprised and caught off guard that power had left him.

This woman's great faith was an original idea birthed out of her desperation that compelled her to think outside the box.  Jesus seemed to love this kind of faith, not only from this particular woman, but also the Roman Centurion who honored Jesus' authority to heal, as well as Zaccheus the tax collector who humbled himself and climbed a tree to see Jesus pass by.

What is even more incredible is how this one act of faith inspired many others to attempt the same thing that is later recorded in the next chapter. 

Mark 6:56 says "And wherever he went into villages, towns or countryside, they placed the sick in the marketplaces.  They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed."

We have a tendency to look at our suffering myopically which means you might be narrow-minded and short-sighted in how you perceive your situation.  We often think to ourselves, "I am the one who is suffering therefore I should be the center of everyone's compassion and attention in order to help me."  But God's pattern to bring about change in our lives is to use desperation rather then comfort to get our attention.  

Your faith to survive a difficult journey could inspire others to have the faith for their own circumstance.  Be an inventor and a trail blazer of new acts of faith!  You might open the door for hundreds or even thousands to be blessed because of your courage!


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