John 4:50 - Jesus replied, “You may go. Your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed.
The royal official didn’t first wait for a miracle before he believed. He didn’t wait for Jesus to first “prove himself” to be worthy of trust. He took Jesus at his word. He believed Jesus. Jesus told the man that his dying son would live. That was all the official needed from the Lord.
How I wish this text described me more. To take that step of faith…without prior confirmation…can sometimes (often???) be frightening. But I find myself still wanting that. And sometimes the Lord is pleased to throw me a bone. But I think he would rather have me remember the hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of ways that he has proven himself capable and faithful to his people throughout redemptive history…as well as my own history.
And yet I am encouraged. I feel closer to the Lord than ever. Despite my shortcomings the Lord is still drawing me closer to himself and conforming me more and more to the image of his Son. Slowly (so very slowly) I am maturing in my faith. The trust I long for is coming more often. How precious it is to believe…and then have the eyes to see the blessing and the hands to receive it. The royal official believed first…then experienced the miracle. I think that’s the usual order.
Prayer and Scripture must undergird this growth. Reading God’s Word…reminding myself daily of his goodness and greatness…and then praying and meditating upon it builds me up with encouragement and confidence. And this is good. With such a memory-saturated confidence, many throughout scripture were able to face impossible odds and come out victorious on the other side. So will all who take the Lord at his Word.