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.

Conditions and Promises

The view from my back deck – my quiet place

But those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. – Psalm 37:9 NIV

My life is a witness to the faithfulness of God.

Back when we were poor and renting an apartment in town, we longed for a house in the country. But circumstances being what they were, the only chance we had of attaining that dream was a prayer.

But prayer, as we’ve learned over the years, is the most powerful force in the universe. Because sincere prayer unlocks the power of a God who loves us, has a plan and purpose for our lives, and wants the best for us – His best.

Back then Psalm 37 attached itself to my spirit, particularly verse 9: “Those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.”

And, oh, how we desired land – wide open spaces to roam and grow and raise our family.

Dean grew up on a 90-acre farm, and times spent visiting his parents in the country brought a spring to his step, a gleam to his eyes, and a joy in his heart that nothing else could. I saw a side of him I didn’t see when we were in town. I loved this side of him, and being the good wife that I am, longed for a home in the country even more.

But – the great “buts” of life – the obstacles, the mountains we cannot climb, the impossible dreams.

But nothing is impossible with God (Matthew 19:26, Luke 1:37).

Ever notice the “but factor” in the Bible? First a statement of distress, then “But God . . .” There’s neither time nor room to explore all the places in the Word this statement appears. But let’s just focus on one psalm: Psalm 37 – the psalm the Lord gave me when I felt hopeless, the psalm I clung to over the years, the psalm I believed was God’s promise to me.

I particularly latched onto verse 4: “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

The desires of my heart can be dangerous if not in line with what God wants for me. So my prayer became, “Lord, place Your desires in my heart, so I want what You want me to want – what You want for me.”

As I studied the psalm further, I saw it was a condition-promise psalm. There were certain conditions I am to fulfill for God to act on my behalf. Let’s look at them.

I am to:

  • not fret
  • trust in God
  • do good
  • live in dependence on Him
  • delight in Him
  • commit my way to Him
  • rest in Him
  • refrain from anger and forsake wrath
  • depart from evil
  • wait on the Lord
  • keep His way

And God will:

  • give me the desires of my heart
  • act (bring it to pass, answer prayer)
  • bring forth righteousness and justice
  • cause me to inherit the land
  • give me an abundance of peace
  • uphold me with His hand
  • be my strength in times of trouble
  • deliver me

I especially love verses 23–24: “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.”

As I look back on my life, I see the faithfulness of a God who keeps His Word, who cares intimately for me, who guides and directs my steps and makes them firm, who gives me the desires of my heart.

Yes, we inherited the land. We have a beautiful home in the country on 13 acres, a family we delight in, faithful friends we can depend on for prayer support, and a God who blesses us exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

Read and meditate on this psalm.

What verses speak to your heart? What situation in your life do these verses address? And, most important, what is God saying to you?

Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening. Amen.

Read and meditate on Psalm 37

© 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.