Thursday, August 23, 2007

I Believe. Help My Unbelief

17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” 19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out [4] and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9)

You know, I have to admit something. And it really pains me. I've been a Christian for over 20 years - I should know and trust that God really does answer prayer. And yet, this weekend, as our pastor prayed in church that Hurricane Dean would cause minimal damage and no loss of life as it struck and battered Mexico with sustained winds 160 mph, I have to confess that I said, "Yeah, right." I found myself laughing (I might even call it scoffing), much the same way that Sarah laughed when God let her in on the little secret that in her old age she would bear a son. And then that's exactly what happened.

When, oh, when will I learn and understand that our God is a miracle worker? That, as the Creator of all there is, He does indeed have power over all things? Why do I find it so hard to believe that He can indeed do as He wills, regardless of how grim the situation looks?

Now, I'm not saying that just because we pray about something, we will automatically get our way. We all know someone who we've prayed for who wasn't healed. Or been in a tough situation financially that wasn't miraculously resolved. Or something like that. We've all seen prayers go unanswered. At least that's how it seems to us. God, in His wisdom, allows what He wants to happen - to teach us, to build a testimony of His grace, to work out His plans...

And yet this doesn't mean we shouldn't pray. We are commanded to pray. But even though those prayers may not be answered in the way we would like, we must pray with belief, not with doubt. I should have known that God could steer that storm to an area where people didn't live. I should have known that He could take a monster and tame it. I should have known that God can do whatever He chooses.

And I should have believed it.


Amy said...

Baby steps and persistance. You already know to pray. Just don't stop praying. Pray to him trough out the day as talking to a friend. During the day I will say a little prayer when I feel my patience on the rise. I take a minute to breath and trust that I will calm down. He calms me. I ask Him for little things all the time. Little things that we think we shouldn't bother HIm with but guess what He cares about ever part of our day. It builds your faith if He takes them time to answer my little life prayers through the day than He will answer the big prayers. So hold onto the faith and pray for the big miricles to happen. If they don't there is a reason we don't know. I believe He allows somethings to happen for the purpose of more souls to be won for Him. He wish we would all choose Him and enter Heaven someday. The power of Jesus Name is all you need. I think of the cross and the blood He shed so that little old me could be redeemed. I don't want Jesus to have died in vain and that helps me to have faith that he can stop Cat. 5 hurricans if we gather together and pray.

Anonymous said...

The Lord's goal for us is that we would know Him better. Like you said, we don't always get the answer we want to our prayers. Like when Mary and Martha sent a message that Lazaras was sick. He didn't come on purpose so that He could show them His grace in an even more amazing way by raising Lazaras from the dead!
It's all about grace! This is a definition of grace from Titus 3:3-7 "When God extends favor/kindness in abundance to those who don't deserve it and who cannot earn it."
God's grace is sufficent for anything that we are going through or will ever go through.
It's amazing to think that He loves so much that he allows us to go through difficult situations so that we can have the greater good of knowing Him better!
God bless,


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