Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. –Mark 11:24 NKJV
Maxine was sick. Critically sick. The year-and-a-half–old Alpine goat had broken into the grain bin and helped herself to way too much for her stomach to digest.
Now, I thought goats could eat anything, and it wouldn’t harm them. Not so.
A goat, I learned, has four compartments in its stomach, the first of which is called the rumen. It is here that healthy bacteria begin to digest the food before passing it on. If the healthy bacteria are destroyed—by eating too much grain, for example—the goat can’t digest its food. The decaying food and unhealthy bacteria that linger in the rumen can quickly become toxic, leading to an agonizing death. This condition is called abomasal bloat. Approximately 75 percent of animals with aboomasal bloat die.
When Maxine’s owner, my friend Corinne, realized her precious goat was ill and why, she immediately called the vet.
“It took us hours to get as much IV fluids, injections, and antibiotics to keep her from toxicity, and pumping her stomach full of mineral oil, baking soda, and a laxative to help her dislodge the grain,” Corinne posted on her Facebook page.
She asked for prayer.
“I’ve been crying nonstop over my precious goat,” she said. “I can’t do anything more. I need God to intervene. She needs her rumen to work.”
The pressure from the stomach gas on Maxine’s heart and lungs caused her to groan with every breath.
“It’s excruciating for me, and exhausting for her,” Corinne said.
But still she persisted in prayer, singing praise and worship songs to Maxine every night and “speaking life over a goat that was dying.”
Through the following week, Maxine received treatment for pain, bloat, a damaged rumen, sepsis, and muscle breakdown. She was given a 10 percent chance of surviving.
But Maxine beat the odds.
“Maxine is loved. She is healing. She is a miracle,” Corinne posted on Facebook.
You see, Corinne takes God at His Word. Jesus said to ask, so she isn’t afraid to ask mountain-sized requests. He said to knock, so she knocks and keeps on knocking until the door opens (Matthew 7:7–8).
She takes to heart the words of the Son of God when He said, “Whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them (Mark 11:23–24 NKJV).
“God is good,” Corinne said. “And even if it would turn differently today, I would know that He is still good. I’m just glad I can still hug her neck, squeeze her little lips, and touch foreheads with her.”
I wish I were more like Corinne. Too often I let doubt eat away at my faith.
I need to remember what Corinne said: “If my Father is able to hear our heart cries over a sick goat, He’s able to hear your cries over what your heart is speaking.”
The next time I wrestle with doubt, that enemy of faith, I’ll remember a dying goat that lived—all because her owner believed in the power of prayer.
Help me, Lord, to have the kind of faith that moves mountains. Destroy every seed of doubt in me. Amen.
Read and reflect on Matthew 7:7–11; Mark 11:22–24; James 1:6–8.
© 2020 Michele Huey. All rights reserved. Photos by Corinne States (c) 2020 Corinne States. Used with permission.