Mark 9:23-“Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.’”
This passage is in the context of a larger story about a healing. A father has brought his son to Jesus’ disciples for healing, as he is possessed by a demonic spirit. The spirit throws the boy into peril and harm at every opportunity. It tortures the poor boy, and in turn, throws turmoil into the family’s life.
The disciples tried unsuccessfully to cast the spirit out of the child. Jesus tells the father that if he can believe, all things are possible. Therefore, if the man believes that Jesus can do this, Jesus will do it. He wants to heal the man’s son, but the healing results from an act of faith in the father that Jesus can do it.
He gives Jesus a far more appropriate, and honest, response than I think that I would have given Him in the same circumstances.
That’s been the prayer of our heart lately. We have had our world pretty much turned upside down the last 3 weeks or so. It seems like whenever we get our footing, the ground shakes or the next wave comes and crashes down upon us. But this verse, in the context of this story, has spoken to me all this time.
I mean, look at it. It seems like there is something wrong in it. The man is telling Jesus that he believes, but he wants Him to help his disbelief. He agrees that Jesus can heal his son, and knows He wants to do it, but a part of him still has a problem.
Where are you at in your life? Are you like Paul the apostle? Are you looking at every opportunity, good or bad, as one to demonstrate God’s love and Jesus’ power in your life? Or are you like the father who believes and refuses to live with his disbelief?
Or are you like me, and wondering where the next stop is on this train, because you’re tired of this ride and you want to get off?
See, it seems that I’ve forgotten life is a dress rehearsal for glory. God is perfecting me here and now, growing my character into Him more and more. He’s telling me, “I know you believe in Me, but I’m going to remove every last bit of unbelief.”
I’ll admit I get caught up in life a lot. I fall and miss the mark. Sometimes, I want to be able to worry about the finances and the kids and the vehicles and how am I going to get this and pay this and do this and make this work and…and…and….I have no idea why.
I don’t know why I want to obsess over those things, but I know I do. Sometimes, I don’t want to pray for someone else’s needs, because the things I’m going through seem so insurmountable. God wants me to focus on my brothers and sisters in Christ, but I’m having a hard time focusing past the hammer coming down on me NOW!
I admit it; sometimes I want to be selfish. I want to put my needs and my problems on the altar and not worry about anyone else. I want everyone else to go on hold and God just concentrate on this for me.
Then, I hear the voice of the father. And he is on his knees, begging the Healer to free his son from bondage to this evil spirit. And I begin to wonder about the other people who were around and had their own problems. I see those who looked down on the man, as if to tell him that his problems are because of some sin in his life.
I see a man who believes and wants his son healed. And I see that my life isn’t really about me, it’s about being an arrow to the One. I’m supposed to point the way; be a light in the darkness. I’m supposed to take up my cross and follow Him daily, because it’s the right thing to do. I’m supposed to grow in fear of the Lord, and in His knowledge.
Lord, I believe. Please, please help my unbelief. Help me to see Your hands moving behind the scenes; taking care of me in ways I can’t possibly fathom. Help me to see that you are creating in me a character and a heart like Your Son. I am growing and prospering in You. Help me to see that You have my life in hand, so that I can go and give it to others.
Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.
Be blessed in the Lord,