Monday, October 18, 2010

if you can...

When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.
"What are you arguing with them about?" he asked.
A man in the crowd answered, "Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not."
"O unbelieving generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me."
So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
Jesus asked the boy's father, "How long has he been like this?"
"From childhood," he answered. "It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."
" 'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."
Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil[a] spirit. "You deaf and mute spirit," he said, "I command you, come out of him and never enter him again."            Mark 9:14-25
 So, I may not verbalize those words, but in my thoughts and my actions that's what I really mean.  "If you can, God..." is what my doubting equals.  Even if only for a few minutes, doubting opens the door for Satan to step in and throw a few more darts at an already feeble heart. 
I am the biggest target when my heart is exposed.  When it's something I really care about...just like this man concerning his son.  He probably didn't want to get his hopes to high for a cure.  Could he take one more disappointment?  Could his heart stand to see his son not healed?   
"If you can do anything..."  Can I accept "No." as my answer?  Can I give thanks in this?  Am I willing to wait and see what God does for His glory without murmuring and complaining?  How long, Lord?  
I was challenged just the other day by my son.  We were on the way home from church one night of our mission conference and from the back seat I hear, "I don't have to see to believe.  I just believe."  He went on to say, "I don't have to see Jesus to believe.  I just believe."  Right now I don't see how things are going to work out in one area of my life.  They just don't seem to add up.  I don't understand the convictions I have versus the reality that faces me.  Some days, it paralyzes me into doing nothing.  Other days, I'm convinced I will make a difference in this world no matter what.
I read in my Bible study workbook last week that sometimes the focus is on what God's doing instead of WHO He is.  Because His ways are higher than mine and because He is holy and we are not, I won't always understand the why's and how's of God's plan.  But through His Word I can understand WHO He is.  In these moments of doubt and confusion, I have to trust what I know about Him.

He is the great I AM.  (Exodus 3:1-17)
He is the Alpha and Omega.  (Revelation 1:8; 21:6; 22:13)
He is Jehovah Jirah...my provider.  (Genesis 22:14)
He is my life.  (1 John 5:12)
He is good.  (Psalm 106)
He is able.  (Ephesians 3:20-21)
He is holy.  (1 Peter 1:13-16) 
He is just.  (Deuteronomy 32:4)
He is love.  (1 John 4:8)

The list is incomplete, but a good start on who the God I serve is and why I can believe in Him and His works in my life.  Even when I don't see it, I can believe it. 
I must fashion my prayers after Habakkuk's...
LORD, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD.
Renew them in our day,
in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy...
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
He enables me to go on the heights.                                       Habakkuk 3:2, 17-19
The picture of the little yellow flowers melts my heart when I see it.  Tim has picked me flowers since he first could grab them with his tiny hands and hold them up to me.  About 3 times this fall, Tim has come running to me with flowers in his hand saying, "These are for you, Mom.  They might be the last ones of the summer."  When he handed me these two and saw I was then taking pictures of them, he asked if I could frame the picture.  He wanted us to remember them even after they were gone.
God's Word is a picture to remind me of who He is when I can't see what's going on and how it's all going to work out.  When, in His presence, I fumble around and say, "If you can..." I am reminded that He is at work and it is for my good.  I just need to focus on who He is and leave the how and what in His hands.
I do believe.  Help me overcome my unbelief!     

7 comments:

  1. I LOVED the comment that you posted on my blog today!! We are definitely kindred spirits!!! We both believe and agree that children can learn how to get along, and where is a better training ground, than our homes??!! As a further encouragement to you, although my sons have many friends and have active social lives, they put an effort into getting together with each other, because they say that there is just something great about being with each other! All of the extra effort of training pays off!!

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  2. That is beautiful! Now following you back - thanks for checking out my blog!
    ~Erika
    http://erikajo.blogspot.com

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  3. I prayed that same prayer today: I believe, help me with my unbelief!

    I'm stopping by from the Hip Homeschool Hop, & I'm in Georgia, too!

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  4. I couldn't make it through this without crying! I too am walking a road that I just can't see "working out" and quite honestly am a little upset that God hasn't come through for me.

    But in the end... and in my mind.. I know my God is faithful - even when I don't see or feel it!

    Thanks Janet for quieting my soul tonight with His truth!

    pen

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  5. Penny,
    I love when God's Word comes right off the pages at me. It's so good to be the daughter of the King! God bless!

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  6. Oh how great is the faith of a child! I pray that I can have that simple faith!

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  7. Visiting fron GMG today.
    Thanks for sharing all those characteristics of our great God. Praise Him! We all need to pray for help with our unbelief!

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