I once answered an interview question that asked, “How long would you fail at a task before you quit?” Now remember, this was an interview. My foolish answer was, “I’m not a quitter.” I say that because I am, and you probably are too.
Don’t worry; we are in good company. The disciples quit too. Look at the story starting at Matthew 17:14. A man brought to them a demon-possessed boy for healing. They tried everything they knew, but it didn’t work. So, what did they do? They quit.
What does that mean? It means that they gave up hope and bailed. Can you imagine looking at the man and the boy in their desperate situation and saying, “Sorry, we can’t do it, see you later. Have a nice life.”
The truth is that we do it all the time. That’s right; we give up. Most times, we don’t even try. Remember that homeless man you passed on the street corner? He was asking for help too. But I didn’t stop. Why not? Because, like the disciples, I don’t believe I can make a difference.
Jesus’ response was appropriate. “Faithless generation,” he calls them. “how long do I have to put up with you?” He asks with disgust. Thankfully, this is not the story’s end for the boy or the disciples. The boy gets the healing he needs and the disciples learn some valuable lessons.
For instance, the disciples could have approached Jesus humbly and honestly, seeking his guidance rather than running. They could have provoked God’s intercession through prayer and they could have simply trusted that God will do what he say’s he will do. In short, they proved their lack of faith by accepting their human limitations and not turning to God.
At the time, the disciples didn’t think they were quitting. Instead, they accepted the task as impossible. But Jesus said otherwise, “Nothing will be impossible for you.” Now, they know better. They know their failure is directly linked to their lack of faith. Now, we know better too.