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Our Stories - When I Was A Child I Spoke Like A Child

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Our Stories - When I Was A Child I Spoke Like A Child:

I have fond memories of growing up in the "Message". We had good times in our small church. Where we lived, we never knew about all the things going on in other "Message" churches. We had a television, played with the other children who didn't go to our church, and they couldn't tell us apart from other children. We were just like any other family in town.

But I felt different. I remember as a child, hearing Bro. Branham say things like, "speak it" and "believe it", and he told stories about nature obeying his command. When I heard the story of him commanding animals to appear, I wanted to do it too! I thought it was a superpower, and went around commanding just about everything. If a toy was missing, I'd command it to appear. If something was broken, I'd try to fix it by telling it to be fixed. I tried real hard to have enough faith, and when that missing toy was found I believed my superpower was real. But when I'd try to command the impossible, and it failed, I felt awful. I thought that I must not have enough faith.

Our lives were forever changed when my mother took sick. The doctors said she was dying, and there wasn't anything that could be done. No matter how hard we "believed", she stayed sick and in bed. We prayed day and night, commanding her "demon" to leave. The harder we prayed, the worse she got. Our whole family was torn up. My mother thought God was punishing her. Our church friends were very supportive, and kept telling us God had already healed her. They'd tell us stories of how many people who believed Bro. Branham got healed. We played the tapes of Bro. Branham almost every waking hour, hearing those people claim to be healed. We claimed it too. As bad off as she was, my mother denied having symptoms. But she had them, just the same. We felt like it was our fault. We had failed to believe "hard enough" to heal her.

I wish I had those years back. So much time was wasted that we could have spent with her. So much guilt in thinking we did something wrong. Hope and faith brings families together. False hope tears them apart. If I could turn back time. I'd comfort her sickness instead of letting people push her to exhaustion trying to find a way to avoid the inevitable.

I did not leave the "Message" because I was unhappy. I was happy. I had good friends and we had good times together. I didn't leave the "Message" because I failed it. I left the "Message" because it failed me. We placed so much value in healing that we overlooked the natural part of life. We held prayer vigils for dying men in their nineties, trying to save them just one more year from going to heaven. We prayed with fury to save people dying of terminal illness, only to watch them die just the same. But when that one person got better from the medicine the doctor gave them, we rejoiced as if our "superpower" healed them. We totally lost focus of Who healed them and how.

Years later, when these televangelists make the news, I remember my younger days. They do the same thing I did. They tell you to "name it and claim it" and make big money doing it. I'm sure there are children in those meetings doing the same thing I did. Children who will grow up unprepared and one day be faced with heartbreaking reality. But I'm no longer a child. I no longer speak like a child. I no longer think like a child.

I can't get those years back, but my children will have their years and will be prepared. If one gets sick, I'll still pray for them. If one is dying, I'll still have hope that a miracle might happen. But I will prepare them for what might take place, and I'll do my best to comfort them. I will cherish the good moments and the bad moments. I'll teach them to do the same. Life is precious, and my family means the world to me. It's hard to imagine losing focus of that.

- A Former "Message" Believer