If You Can?

Today's devotion from Mark 9.

As a father, I can relate to this man's panicked fear. I have experienced the terror of seeing my newborn in the NICU kept from us inside the isolette. I have felt the heartbreak as my infant daughter cried out for her parents while strapped to a table in the hospital. I have rushed my son to the emergency room as he gasped for air during an episode of anaphylaxis. Seeing your child struggle is never easy to bear.

This father had watched, powerless to his son's torment, when he heard that hope might be found. There was Jesus, a man with a history of miraculous workings, and maybe, just maybe, there was a hope for his son. The man made his way and found some of Jesus' followers. Maybe they were just as good? After trial and failure, hope began to fall. The scribes began to bicker with Jesus' disciples. A crowd gathered. This man loved his son, and simply wanted him healthy. Now he was being made into a public spectacle.

When Jesus begins to interact with the crowd, this father tells his story, apparently including the failure of the disciples. After a soft rebuke, Jesus asks for the boy. That's when the father makes his mistake. He utters the word...if. If you can do anything. Jesus was having none of that. The question has a sardonic ring in its repetition. Anything is possible for those who believe.

How many times have we found ourselves here? We believe there is hope, we hope their is hope, but we struggle to believe that hope is actually found. Hope is sometimes seen as something reserved for others, but not for ourselves. Yet this man is both wise and bold. He declares the belief he has, but cries out that he needs help in the believing.

There it is. How simple and honest? I need God to help me learn to believe. I struggle, I'll admit, to believe at times, but am I honest enough to admit that to God? Am I bold enough to admit this failure, and to ask for help in even this most base matter? If I would be, I think I would find myself more filled with belief.