Don’t Stop Believin’


TightwireThere’s a story in the Bible that sheds some interesting light on faith. I’m encouraged to know that the people Jesus encountered while here on earth are people just like you and me. They were not super-human men and women with super-human faith.

There was a guy who had a son who was possessed by an evil spirit. The spirit would throw the kid to the ground and make him foam at the mouth and gnash his teeth. (Some of us with kids and grandkids can relate: we sometimes wonder if some strange spirit has invaded their body as they kick and scream on the floor.)

The father of the tortured boy asked Jesus to heal his son.

Here’s the conversation we read in the 9th chapter of Mark:

Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” (This strikes me funny. The boy is rolling in the dirt, foaming at the mouth, and Jesus is having a casual conversation with the dad.)

The dad told Jesus, “From childhood. The spirit has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” (Can you imagine saying to the Son of God, “If you can!” Come to think of it…yes, I guess we can imagine that.)

Jesus repeated his words: “ ‘If you can’? Everything is possible for one who believes.”

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

WOW…me, too!

So…what can we learn from this encounter?

First, there was nothing impressive about the father’s faith. The guy said to Jesus, “If you can…” So faith is not the absence of doubt. Faith is refusing to allow our doubt to stop us from believing.

Second, it’s okay to be honest about our faith. We do not need to fake our faith. The man said, “I believe; help me in my unbelief.”

I can easily relate to the father of the tortured boy. I believe. And I wonder – not if he can – but if he will.

We sometimes mistakenly believe that the “size” of our faith is inadequate. But I don’t think it’s about the amount of our faith. We do not need to be the Superman (or Superwoman) of faith. I think it’s about whether or not we are willing to “risk” trusting God with all we’ve got. Like the little widow lady who gave her last few coins as an offering to God, it’s not the amount that impresses God. It’s about whether or not we will offer it all.

Possibly we have only a couple of small “coins” of faith. It’s enough! I believe God has some great things in store for those who are willing to trust him with everything they have to offer.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: …missing jesus… | reverie slice

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