There is a story recorded in the Bible found in the gospel of Mark the ninth chapter that I have heard most of my life. It is the story of the man whose son had been plagued with something so severe that whatever was influencing his life it caused him to experience behaviors that from an outside observation were life threatening. As a matter of fact these behaviors had controlled him from early in his life. When the father sought out help from Jesus’ disciples to rid this child of this malady, they were unable to help.
Now prior to this encounter Jesus, Peter, James and John were returning from the mountain where Jesus was transfigured revealing that he is the Light. When they arrived to where the other nine disciples were gathered with this father and son along with a crowd of people, Jesus asked what was going on. When he learned that these nine disciples could not help the child, Jesus seems to express his dismay at this entire faithless generation that even though he had been with these disciples for so long, they still had difficulty believing.
This entry has to do with unbelief. I know something about unbelief. Perhaps you do too. I know that I don’t like to admit the issues I have had during my life where unbelief seemed to control my actions. For this father who brought his son to find the help he needed seemed to develop a healthy sense of doubt. Now these disciples are only re-enforcing his doubts with no help surfacing for his son.
Jesus asks the father to bring his son to him. Then the child began to demonstrate the kinds of behaviors that had been so alarming to his father. Jesus asked how long this had been going on. The father replied since he was a little boy. That is when the father, with tears in his eyes, pleaded with Jesus to do something if he could. Jesus asks the father if he believed he could heal the boy. As I thought about this question something seemed to be revealed that I had not thought of before.
Here’s a man with strong and compassionate feelings of love for his son. It occurs to me the parallel process that may be being revealed here. God the Father has that kind of love for His Son Jesus. As this earthly father emotionally seeks help for his son Jesus asks the father if he believes he can heal him. Then the father puts forth an honest reply, “I believe. Please help my unbelief.” So what did Jesus do for that father and his son? First of all he heals the son. Coupled with that healing he helps the father’s unbelief.
Unbelief is something we all wrestle with from time to time. When doubt becomes so overwhelming that finding our way out of that darkness seems impossible, then we are invited to reexamine how the Light plays the essential role in our healing. When we become aware that Jesus is the Light and it is this Light that ushers in our healing, then we begin to understand the necessity of the Light and without this Light there is only darkness. Whatever your healing need is, remember that this Light is already within you because we are made of this Light!