“I need to have my foot amputated.”
Tom calmly explained that his achy heel harbored a treatment-resistant bone cancer. Soon my friend endured the painful process of surgery, stump care, regaining his strength, and relearning to walk.
As Tom waited for his prosthesis, I wondered what encouragement I could offer. He and his wife trusted Christ implicitly. What could I say that would truly make a difference? I prayed for a word of knowledge from the Lord. It came from Luke 17.
Jesus warned His apostles about upcoming temptations and what to do when they came. Interestingly, the apostles didn’t ask Jesus for strength to withstand the trials. They asked Him to increase their faith.
The Greek word for “increase” (prosthesemi) means to “join together for a purpose; to lay beside or ‘annex’ something to reach a goal.” That’s exactly what Tom’s prosthetic foot would do for him: join to his leg below the knee so he could walk again. Not coincidentally, the Greek word is the root for our English word, “prosthesis.”
The apostles essentially asked Jesus to give them a prosthesis for their faith. I shared this with Tom who considered it great encouragement and used it as a conversation starter for sharing the gospel with friends and hospital staff.
For now, only God and Tom know what eternal seeds he sowed with his words. Tom went to heaven two years later.
Tom’s life reminds us to ask for “prosthetic faith.” We can’t engineer or add to our faith. We must ask God to do it for us. Nor is prosthetic faith a one-and-done type of faith. We continually need to ask God to enlarge our faith. Lay more tracks. Annex more footage. Add to what’s there so we can reach the goal of fulfilling God’s plans for us.
Dwight L. Moody said true faith was weakness leaning on God’s strength. Tom walked that out—literally. When he first learned to use his prosthesis, he was too weak to lean his full weight on it. But as his strength grew, his faith in his ability to walk again did too. Soon, he was back to taking short hikes with his wife.
As our faith grows, we will be fully persuaded that we can walk with strength and confidence the path God lays out for us.
Ask God to give you prosthetic faith.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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