When Doubt Met Divine

August 5, 2014

 

The Compadres blog tour is making a quick stop here and I’m glad you stopped by.

The topic is “The Glory of the Son” and when asked what I would like to focus on, I immediately thought of Mark 9:14-29 and invite you to join me there for the next few minutes.

 

 

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Why does a story that seems to highlight doubt more than divine grab my attention so quickly? Because too often, I’m the one needing help. The one standing in the middle of stress and negativity begging truth to rebuke my feelings of doom and hopelessness. The one who knows that joy is out there but blinded by the injustice, pain and despair that seem to have taken up residence in front of me.

The father in Mark 9 was forlorn. The son tormented by demons since childhood.  Some of us know the misery of having a sick child. Letting the fear of what might happen steal our hopes and dreams for the future. The boy’s father had exhausted the doctors in town. No one could help. Not even those closest to the Rabbi from Galilee. And when all hope seemed lost, enter the Christ with the compassion to stop and ask about this man’s story. And the desire to get involved even when chaos swirled around him.

 

“If You Can?

Verse 21 offers a glimpse into our own lives. Too often we approach Jesus with reservations.

If you can offer peace?

If you can get me through this?

If you can work this out?

If you can calm my fears?

If you can heal my child?  My  parent?  My marriage?

 

“If I can?”

Jesus answered initially with a question. And then I wonder if he smiled. Or sighed. Or rolled his eyes.  Or all three.

 

“Everything is Possible for the One who Believes.”

If believing is the epitome of the Christian faith, then it would be so simple. But there is more. Jesus wants belief but he also requires us to follow. And there’s the catch. That’s the part that will change this world. Do it like I did. Love, forgive, teach, help. Get involved in your community. Change lives because I changed yours. Believing is the start but following necessitates more than my mind. It requires my heart, my actions and worse, my reactions.

 

“I believe. Help my unbelief!”

And here is where I am.  With more questions than answers.  Believing but not understanding.  But praise the Lord above that our doubts don’t diminish his glory.

 

“Jesus Took him by the Hand and Lifted him Up”

Jesus didn’t tell him to believe more. He didn’t ask if he was a church member.  He didn’t ask his views on doctrinal issues.  He didn’t schedule a Bible study or have him recite the Sinner’s prayer. He didn’t sign him up for a Bible correspondence course or point him in the direction of the nearest synagogue. He didn’t ask the church to vote or pray. He didn’t call for a committee meeting.  He didn’t consult the Greek text to make sure he really said what he just said. He just stopped what he was doing, listened to someone who was hurting and got involved in their lives. And he calls us to do the same thing. Even if we don’t have all the answers. Even if we face days of doubt. Even if we’re broken and hurting and tired. Even if all seems lost. Believe. Follow. Make a difference.

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