Mark 9: 22-24
“It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on me and help me.”
“If you can?” said Jesus. ”Everything is possible for him who believes.”
Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” NIV
These verses are from the story of a man who brings his demon-possessed son to Jesus.
I have a dear friend who often quotes this story as one of her favorites. And, I agree with her. To me, this story is a vivid illustration of many facets of my relationship to God. I believe at some level, and I think that level is pretty deep, until something happens to me to make me realize that my belief, my relationship, needs to be even deeper. The challenge is, when that is revealed to me, not to have that be a frustrating experience. Instead, I need to view it as a new opportunity to surrender to God, to be obedient to Him, and to experience the joy that comes in a deepening relationship.
I love the father’s response, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” And, when I consider it through the lens of my project, this passage becomes even more meaningful to me.
The boy’s father knows that Jesus can cast out the demon that is tormenting his son. Or, at least he strongly suspects it. Otherwise, he would not have brought the boy to Jesus.
I’ll never know what the father meant when he said, “If you can do anything, take pity on me on and help me.” However, it is interesting to me that the son is the one that has the demon and yet, the father asks Jesus, not to help the son, but to help him. Why?
Perhaps the poor man is so worn out with worrying over his boy and with the day-to-day trauma of caring for him, that he is afraid to fully trust that anyone, even Jesus, can change the situation. Perhaps he has trusted other supposed remedies that haven’t worked. Whatever has occurred in the past, it appears to me that this father has lost hope.
But, Jesus changes everything.
He casts out the demon, no doubt changing life forever for the little boy and for his father.
I want that! I want to have so much trust and so much belief and so much hope that it would never occur to me to worry. That would truly change my life.
That’s what I will think about today.