ABCS Staff Devotion – “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
This is the story of little Martha. Little Martha grew up with her parents and siblings in a small town in Mexico. Her parents (Mr. and Mrs. Maynez) were saved when little Martha wasn’t yet born. They loved the Lord and lived to raise their children in the faith. When Martha was about six years old, Polio hit the town and little Martha was affected. She became paralyzed from the neck down. She was unable to walk so she had to be carried everywhere they went. She was unable to move her torso, so she had to be straightened and sustained to remain upright. She was unable to move her arms, so she had to be fed. She was unable to eat solid foods, so she was fed food that had been blended and easier to swallow. She was unable to have full function of her throat, so she had trouble speaking and could only mumble. Martha remembers being passed around when walking to church. It was a long walk and her parents and siblings had to take turns carrying her. Her view at the church was always looking at the ground.
Visits to the hospital were to no avail. The doctors finally told little Martha’s mother that there was nothing further that could be done for her, she would remain this way for the rest of her life. Mrs. Maynez was heartbroken for her daughter and responded to the doctor saying, “Your results might show one thing, but I serve a God that is greater, and I will bring her back walking by her own two feet!”
Little Martha was not expected to have a normal future like the rest of her sisters. She would never walk, she would never have a family, and she would always need the help and support of a wheelchair or other medical instruments. Little Martha’s parents continued to serve the Lord faithfully, always trusting in God.
Two years later, on one given Sunday, Mrs. Maynez told her husband, “Today I will ask of the Lord to heal Martha or take her. I know the Lord will have an answer for me today and I will accept whatever His will is.” Mr. and Mrs. Maynez left their children at home that day to care for Martha while they went to church.
As soon as they arrived at church, Mrs. Maynez knelt at the altar. As everyone was arriving, she prayed. As the songs were sung, she prayed. As the Word was preached, she prayed. Halfway through the preaching she received an answer from the Lord. She quickly rose and ran to where her husband was sitting and told him that they must leave right away. As they walked home, Mr. Maynez asked her what the answer was. She explained that the Lord had answered her prayer, but she did not know which answer it was. They walked as fast as they could, and the road seemed so much longer than usual.
Back at home little Martha was in the living room with her siblings when she mumbled something. Her siblings turned around to look at her and then she mumbled again, “I’m hungry.” As they discussed what to blend for her, little Martha mumbled, “No, I want some bread and beans.” “We can’t give you bread and beans, you’ll choke and die.” Martha continued to mumble “I want some bread and beans. I want bread and beans.” Her sisters gave in and took her to the kitchen and strapped her to a chair. They brought a plate with bread and beans to her. Two of her sisters went to the living room because they heard their parents arriving. They thought for sure they were in big trouble. “Why are they back so soon?” They asked themselves, “What are we going to tell them?”
As they walked through the front door, Mrs. Maynez did not see little Martha in the place she had left her. Her heart dropped and then she asked, “Where have you put the body?!” “In the kitchen,” responded the girls. Martha’s parents walked into the kitchen and found little Martha eating bread and beans by the strength of her own hand. They both praised God and thanked Him for his marvelous works!
Martha slowly regained her strength and had to learn to walk again. Today, Martha has a collection of shoes. She chooses a pair to wear to church every Sunday. Her husband passed not too long ago, but together they had a beautiful life. They had four children and seven grandchildren. Two of those grandchildren are my sons. You see, little Martha is my mother. Although I never met my grandmother, I am left with the legacy and the stories of her great faith! I am a product of God’s mercy and grace, for without my mother’s healing I would not be here, and neither would my children. I want to continue carrying the faith my grandmother had and I want to pass it along to my children.
What I want my children to know, and what we can all call to remembrance of faith is that:
-Faith is not confidence in a particular outcome, it is confidence in a sovereign God.
-Faith is not centered on how it pleases us, but on how it pleases God.
-Faith is not seeking the blessing, it’s seeking the Blesser.
Written by Bibi Najera, Ministry Support Specialist