Saturday, April 10, 2010

Unbelief of a father

Something I read recently or a sermon I heard referred to Mark 9 where Jesus talks to a father who's son has a demonic spirit. It says in Mark 9: 21-24 "And Jesus asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood. 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." Jesus said to him, "'If you can?'- All things are possible for one who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!" "

When I first read this I thought "well, the father did not believe or else he would not have asked for Jesus to help his unbelief!" As we have gone through this illness with Sarah, I've come to understand this father a bit more. I join him in saying to Jesus, "I believe you are the Son of God, but when it comes to my child being helped, I do have unbelief so Jesus help my unbelief." As always, the story is not about the father or the kid being healed, but it is about Jesus. Jesus being so merciful and compassionate, looks on the father and feels his pain and sorrow for his son.

For me the battle is not "if you can", but it is "will you". Will you allow the Leukemia to return? This battle with unbelief for me is not about my faith in Jesus as my Savior, but an unbelief that limits His ability similar to the father in the story. I think this battle stems from an event that challenges my beliefs in His power. The night Sarah ran a temperature of more than 104 F, I went to her bedroom and in my spirit I knew something really bad was wrong with her. It was not a normal infection or fever. (This was two nights before we took her to the hospital, and she was diagnosed a few days after that.) I laid my hands on her head and prayed like I've never prayed before. I prayed, cried and in the end begged God to take away the sickness. I wanted her to be back to normal immediately and whatever was causing the infection to go away. Instead, we were given three weeks in the hospital, two and half years of chemotherapy and a total change in our life- moving back to the U.S. This wasn't near what I was praying for.

Ever since that night, I've battled as the father in this story in Mark and have cried "I believe; help my unbelief". Then God gives us a week like this week. I've forgotten the skies could be so blue and the weather so perfect. Yesterday, Sarah's cousins came over to see the flowers they planted a few weeks ago and Sarah smiled! - enjoying the time. In the coolness of a spring afternoon and perfectly clear skies, I understood God's mercies and love for me, Sarah, Anne, Hannah and Rebekah. Just as he looked on this father with compassion and healed his son even with the battle of unbelief, Jesus is doing the same for Sarah. The point in all of this is the same as the story. It is not about Jay's unbelief, it is about Jesus' mercy. In the midst of this, Jesus is challenging me not only to come and follow Him, but to learn to abide in Him. Abide in Him with complete weakness that everything is surrendered to my Savior. I have nothing to give, nothing to do, nothing to control. Then I will understand, where I am weak, He is strong.

1 comment:

Sue and Robert Stark said...

Hi y'all! It's been a while since I've posted (I think). :) But, we read and re-read your posts and look at the pictures (Lily likes to do this every so often...even if she's already seen them).

Both of you give me so many things to think about (and pray about) when you write.

Lily's in bed and Robert's flying, but we're thinking of you and praying for Sarah and you all.

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