“If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23)
Deb Hotaling has a 20 year old son. He is six and a half feet tall and weighs 200 pounds. Over all in excellent health, he does however, have autism. He functions at the intellectual level of a 6 year old and like most 6 year olds, he can get violent when frustrated. Unlike other 6 year olds however, his outbursts can be dangerous to himself and others.
Ms. Hotaling is her son’s care-giver. What will she do when she can’t calm him any more? What will happen to him should something happen to her?
Reading her plight this morning I was reminded of this story in Mark 9. A father had an adult son, demon possessed all his life. Periodically, the young man would lose physical control of himself, sometimes endangering his life. I would imagine a father in such circumstances would try anything to help his boy, and in such desperation he came to Jesus.
He made a mistake though: he confessed a lack of faith – to which Jesus responded with enough incredulity to make the father think help might not be forthcoming.
Everybody struggles with faith. Does God care? Can God help? Will God help? Will He help the way I want him to? Yes, yes, yes, and perhaps. The hard part of the struggle is confidence with the yeses, and being happy with whatever the “perhaps” brings. Only then will we truly overcome unbelief. Fortunately, as he did for the father in Mark 9, Jesus works in our behalf in the meantime.