"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. "Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. "Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.' "Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?"
The above quote is from the famous NY SUN newspaper article written September 21, 1897 by Francis P. Church, "Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus". It's also been documented in a Christmas movie by the same title in the 1990's starring Richard Thomas. It's one of those stories that we all identify with if we've ever believed in Santa Claus and then one day were confronted with the reality that he does not exist at all!
I remember very clearly the Christmas I "found out" Santa wasn't real. I was only three years old. It was Christmas Eve and I woke up to noise coming from the attic stairs. I snuck out of bed and found the attic door wide open. My parents stood motionless with a child's rocking chair held between them. With the innocence of "Cindy Lou Who" from the "Grinch That Stole Christmas" I asked, "What are you doing up there?" and "Why are you carrying my rocking chair down from the attic? I thought Santa was suppose to put it under the tree?" I don't quite remember their response but from that moment on, I believed only the stocking presents were from Santa.
That discovery so affected me that when my children were very small, we went to elaborate means to keep Santa's identity part of reality. We did a good job. I think one of my children believed in Santa until the 7th grade! Don't worry. My husband and I confessed our lies and told the truth to save them from any further embarassment amongst friends!
In the midst of this struggle of truth and lie, I was reminded yesterday how easy it is for us to believe a lie over the truth! We had asked a sister in Christ to pray with us for healing of Pete's broken wrist. When she prayed she said "Father how easy it is sometimes for us to believe the lie of the Enemy (Satan) but so difficult for us to believe the Truth of Jesus." How true this is!
At that moment I was again reminded of Matthew 21:22 "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for." Not a "name it and claim it" belief but a true, child-like belief...if you say it is true, Jesus, then it's true! (Matthew 22:14-17). In this passage Jesus said to his disciples, they had the authority to do exactly what He did and more. (v21) "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done."
We prayed with the authority of Jesus over Pete's wrist yesterday, trusting and believing that God would align and heal his bones properly. We believed that the bones would be held in place and no surgery would be required. We prayed with the authority given to us by Jesus, who said "believe."
Today, new X-rays were taken. The doctor was "amazed" that the bones were still aligned with no drifting. There was only a very slight misalignment that may shift into place on its own. He could no longer recommend surgery in hopes of the bones getting any better results. He agreed to leave it alone and monitor the healing process every few days for the next couple of weeks.
To have belived the lie that there is no power in prayer for healing would have resulted in bondage, physical pain, financial hardship and no glory to give back to the Lord. But, to believe the Truth in this situation has brought a greater faith in God, joy, community, financial relief and testimony to the power and glory of Jesus.
Is there a God who heals? Who performs miracles, still? "Yes, Virginia, there is a God of Miracles! And his name is Jesus!"