Wednesday, July 30, 2008

All Things Are Possible

A couple of mornings ago, I awoke with a mixture of verses running through my head. I knew they didn't actually go together, and I was probably combining the phrases, so I took a second to check my concordance and read the verses accurately within their contexts. One of the passages, I'm still mulling over - Mark 9:14-29.

Just after Jesus, Peter, James and John have had a (literal) mountain-top experience with the transfiguration, they descend to join the other disciples in the midst of an argument with scribes surrounded by a large crowd.

"Welcome back!"

It's like coming home from a vacation only to find the air conditioner is broken, the toilet's stopped up and the washing machine has flooded the utility room. What a downer!

But this intriguing passage takes an unexpected turn as it reveals the power of Jesus to remove an evil spirit from a man's son. This spirit had caused him countless injuries by forcing him to slam to the ground and jump into fire and water. Prior to Jesus' arrival on the scene, the man had requested his disciples cast it out, but they were unable. Jesus explains that their failure has something to do with a lack of belief (vs. 19).

I find it interesting that Jesus, in his omniscience, asks the man to explain how long his son had experienced this horror. Could it be he wanted to allow the man to think about (one last time!) this long and seemingly unchangeable journey he'd walked? This was not some brief ailment that could be corrected with two aspirin and a good night's sleep, this was a traumatic and terminal malady. And by verbalizing it aloud, the testimony of what was about to happen could be shared for generations to come.

The part that most resonates with my heart is the father's request. He has already come to Jesus for help, so he knows that healing for his son is at least possible. But, like me, knowing from the depths of his being that Jesus is fully competent and trustworthy, he states in v. 22: "If You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!"

Jesus responds, "If I can? All things are possible to him who believes." The man begs, "I do believe; help my unbelief."

My life circumstances right now include some things that I just don't see how God is going to resolve. We've been living this journey of life with some of them so long and they seem so unchangeable, I can't imagine workable solutions. I don't even have any suggestions to offer God! (Like he needs them.) In desperation, I've cried out, "If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us!" And Jesus is saying to me, "If I can? All things are possible to him who believes."

I do believe, Lord Jesus; help my unbelief.

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