I am finding as I read through the New Testament this time, that the gospel chapters are jammed with so many stories and accounts of events, it is tough to choose one topic to focus on out of these chock full readings. So I read through Mark 9 again this morning and waited for God to draw me into one of the stories. I am a mom to three kids and as I read the story of the demon-possessed child my heart went out to the boy’s dad. As a parent I feel deeply the pain, fear, and frustration of this poor man. The Bible says that “since the boy was little” he has suffered with this possession so I think it’s fair to say that the dad has been watching his son fight for his life for years. Can you imagine living every day with your child not talking, being thrown violently to the ground, foaming at the mouth, grinding his teeth, and becoming rigid? This dad says that the “spirit often throws the boy into the fire or into water, trying to kill him”. This dad’s heart must be broken knowing he is missing years of knowing his son’s personality, missing out on teaching his son a trade, and watching his son grow up probably without meaningful relationships outside his immediate family. How many years has the dad been hurting and dealing with this situation and completely without hope? As a dad, he is helpless to change the boy’s situation. To me this is the worst. The child you love, born full of promise and potential, and now all of that has changed. You can’t do anything to help him except to watch him like a hawk so you can retrieve him from the fire and the water when he goes in. This is desperation.
At some point this dad hears of Jesus and the miracles he is doing. Is it possible that these stories are true? Do I dare believe that Jesus can make things different for my child? Could this end if we can get to Jesus? So he seeks out Jesus and decides to see what He can do. After the dad answers Jesus’ questions, he says to Jesus, ” Have mercy on us and help us if you can”. (This is where I sense the dad’s desperation most.) “Jesus replies, “What do you mean, if I can?” Anything is possible if a person believes. The father instantly cried out, I do believe, but help my unbelief!”
Anything is possible if we believe. Such a powerful promise! The question is, do I have enough faith to believe that anything is possible? When I am honest, I realize more often than I want to, that I am in the exact same boat as the dad in this story. I do believe, I believe that God can do anything, but sometimes when I am in the mire of an overwhelming mess in my life, I have to cry out to God asking Him to help my unbelief because I can’t see how it is possible for Him to make a good outcome in the mess I am experiencing. I am human and so limited in my mind by humanness. Praise God that He is not human! He is not limited to our realm of thought. He is bigger, more powerful and all knowing. He can come up with, and accomplish plans that I can’t even recognize are His until after the fact. Thank you Lord for loving me so much that you are willing to help me believe and trust that there are no limits on your power!