“Then one of the crowd answered and said, ;Teacher, I brought you my son, who has a mute spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.’
“He answered him and said, ‘O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.’ Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.
“So He asked his father, ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ And he said, ‘From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.’
“Jesus said to him, “‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’”
— Mark 9: 17-24
Often when I read or hear this passage from Mark, it troubles me.
“I believe; help my unbelief!”
Yes, I believe, so why do the doubts crowd in? For over 40 years, I have felt that God is a part of my life. I know that God loves me, just as I am. Then why do I sometimes wonder if my faith is enough?
I believe, but my actions don’t always show that: sometimes I am grouchy with those whom I love; sometimes while driving I become irritated with other drivers; sometimes I just want to be left alone. I believe; help my unbelief.
But then I wonder, am I alone in this feeling? I think back on my life: if only I’d trained a bit more for that race, or that match; if only I’d studied a bit more; if only I’d prayed a bit more; if only … One thing I know for certain: I am not perfect, but neither is anyone else. So we all fall short of the mark, but God loves us anyway.
Another verse comes to mind from Matthew 17: 20: “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.”
Yes, I have faith, perhaps not much larger than a mustard seed, but it is enough.
I pray that you feel the love of God, and the love of those around you. May your faith be enough.
Bob Beck is the former layleader of Ebbert Methodist Church.