Friday, April 22, 2016

Inviting God into the Doubt

"I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief."

Those are the words of a father who has brought his son to Jesus for healing.

Mark 9:14-29 records the whole story for us. The summary is that Jesus' disciples had tried to cast an impure spirit out of the boy and had been unable to. When Jesus arrives, the boy's father asks Jesus to help them, if He can. Jesus replies to the "if you can" with a reminder that everything is possible for those who believe. The father responds with, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief." Jesus heals his son.

In the middle of this story, we see a father struggling with doubt. Jesus confronts his doubt, but rather than hide or pretend, the father invites Jesus into his doubt in response. He acknowledges his belief and his doubt in one sentence, and asks Jesus for help with his doubt, with his unbelief.

Doubt is more common that we might think. Most people I've talked to have had moments of wondering,of questioning, of not being sure.

The difference has always come in how we respond to it.

Do we stuff it away and pretend it doesn't exist?

Do we beat ourselves up for it?

Or, do we do what the father in this story did, and invite Jesus into it to help us overcome it?

I think this account in Mark's Gospel provides an example of how we should handle these times. How different would our walks with God be if our response in times of doubt of unbelief was, "I believe; help me overcome my unbelief."?

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