DayBreaks for 3/01/18: If You Can
From the DayBreaks archive, February 2008:
“Hey, hon, would you see if you can get the lid off this jar?” If I had a dollar for every time my wife asked me that question, I’d have a much faster PC than I do now! There is also something in the male ego that rises to such a challenge: “What do you mean, ‘If you can?’ I’m macho!” Then, so us guys can demonstrate our physical prowess, we try really hard to make it look easy to get the lid off the jar. Sometimes it is very easy, but other times it is hard (but we can’t ever let on that it is hard).
In Mark 9.22-23, Jesus has been approached by a man who had a son who was possessed by demons, and here is part of their conversion, the man speaking first of all to Jesus: 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.
Here was a man who had a broken heart. His son, whom he no doubt loved greatly, had been wracked with suffering as a result of the demon. As a parent, you would feel like you could never take your eyes off your child for an instant because the demon might try to throw him into the fire or water at any time. Parenting would become a very intense 24-hour a day job. You can hear the desperation in the man’s voice: “But, IF you can do anything..”. Undoubtedly this poor man had tried other “healers” or religious leaders – including the very disciples of Jesus – but to no avail. He finds himself now, not daring again to get his hopes up, confronted with Jesus himself. Would he be able to do what his disciples could not? Was there any reason to hope? Hence, the words, “…if you can…”.
Jesus’ reply picks up on the lack of faith in the father of the child. “If you can? EVERYTHING is possible for him who believes.”
First of all, Jesus believed. He knew the power of the Father that was at his beck and call. He had no doubt that he could deliver the boy from demonic struggle. The disciples apparently doubted that they could do it. He didn’t permit the lack of faith from the boy’s father to cause him to doubt his own faith. With Jesus is found certainty.
Second, Jesus doesn’t limit the ability to do great things to just himself – but says EVERYTHING is possible for EVERYONE who believes.
Are you at a point in your life right now where you are not sure that even God can help you? It happens. Does it seem you have tried everything and everyone with no progress? The father who brought his tormented son to Jesus found mercy and grace and healing in spite of his personal lack of faith. He only had enough faith to ask the question – “If you can, can you help me?”
In your despair and the pit of your suffering, if you can find even the smallest bit of faith when you go to him, he can and will help you, too.
PRAYER: Lord, grow our belief! Help our unbelief! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.