Faith Farming

Maxine greets Corinne.

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.

Maxine and Lucy

© 2020 Michele Huey. All rights reserved. Photos by Corinne States (c) 2020 Corinne States. Used with permission.

When SAD Hits …

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. – 1 John 1:5 NKJV

Several years ago I spent a week in January visiting my brother in Alabama. It was nothing short of glorious for this winter-weary western Pennsylvania gal. The daytime temperature ranged from the mid-60s to the low 70s, the southern sun shone in cloudless blue skies, and a light jacket was all I needed when I ventured outside.

And outside I went every day but one, soaking in as much sunshine—and vitamin D—as I could on my daily walks. I returned home re-energized in body, mind, and spirit.

There’s energy in the sun’s rays, and for northerners like me who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), time spent in the sun is just the prescription needed to fight the lethargy, carb cravings, brain fog, low energy, and everything else associated with what’s also called the winter blues.

Living where I do, I can’t do anything about the shorter daylight hours that disrupt my body’s internal clock, but I can take steps to fight the symptoms.

Since a lack of adequate sunlight is the main cause of SAD, I spend as much time absorbing natural light during the winter months as I can. In addition to taking vitamin D supplements, I need to exercise regularly to boost my flagging metabolism and avoid the sugary and starchy foods that just create the craving for more of same.

We can suffer from spiritual SAD, too. Seasons of spiritual doldrums descend on all of us throughout life. Like with physical SAD, spiritual SAD can be overcome—but you can’t just wait it out, hoping it’ll go away on its own. You have to recognize the symptoms and make the effort to fight it.

The prescription is the same: more light, exercise, and the right food.

Get more light by spending more time with the SON.

“I am the Light of the World,” Jesus said. “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). I spend time with the Son when I read the Gospels, allowing His words to soak into my spirit. All of God’s Word, for that matter, is “lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105).

The second Rx is exercise. Daily walking by faith boosts a flagging spiritual metabolism, strengthening flabby spiritual muscles. I exercise faith when I trust God to provide what I need and not take matters in my own pathetic hands, when I wait for His guidance and not run ahead of Him, and when, instead of demanding my own way, I leave the choice to Him.

Finally, the proper spiritual nourishment will help us avoid craving the wrong things—the junk that too often clutters our lives and clogs our joy. “My food,” Jesus once said, “is to do the will if Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:34). In other words, obedience.

Have you spent time with the Son today?

When S.A.D. hits, remind me, Lord, to seek the Son, for He is always shining. Amen.

Read and reflect on John 1:1–12.

© 2015 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.