mark 9… my story

18 Aug
believing, a father’s story

this is my personal, go to chapter in my life narrative story; it aligns with my life verse from Jeremiah 20: 9,

‘But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones.

I am weary of holding it in, indeed, I cannot.’

I write, I speak, I meditate and pray his word each day in my life. I can’t stop, thank the Lord. Keep burning me Lord; keep burning me.

And Mark’s narrative on believe, a struggling to believe father, is also in essence, my life story.

What is the connection between my life verse and my life story? I am his; he controls and gifts; he gives. From burning faith to struggling belief, I ask, seek, and he gives and gives,

When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him 16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked. 17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 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.”

19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” 20 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.

21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “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.”

23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. 28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”

There is so much here. So much. First, the questions come furiously and fast:

• how long, unbelieving generation, shall I stay with you?

• How long shall I put up with you?

Jesus is amazed, startled, by the depth of their unbelief. Our totally human ( while totally Messiah Lord at the same time ) is at the end if his emotional rope with the disciples. Why? They lack deep believe. So our Jesus asks, how?

Then, another’how’?

• To the boy’s father, how long has the boy been like this?

Jesus already knows this answer. He asks so his disciples can see the steps in healing, so the crowd will know the family’s history. This is an unfolding, a generous ‘how’. The father gets to share with all the hurt and struggle of his past life with his son.

And now comes my life story with this father and son,

‘But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”’

Jesus takes the father’s deepest desire, his heart’s request, and makes the father’s deep desire from a declarative sentence into a question, ‘if you can?’

Jesus can. Everything is possible. All can be. Only true belief is needed, necessary.

Immediately, like a Peter, the father states both his belief and unbelief.

This is my story, the daily struggle, the holding of the two, belief and unbelief, together.

And in response the boy is healed. Yet, the story is not over. The disciples want to know, why they were not able to heal and Jesus answers ‘prayer’. These supernatural forces can only be dealt with through prayer.

But when did Jesus pray in this narrative?

I believe his questions are prayers; how long? If I can?

Jesus’ questioning moves hearts to deep searching, to belief. To believing faith.

We only need to listen and respond to the Master’s questions, then belief burns with his words. Burns within my heart.

His story, His questions; my belief.

What a healing, what a gift, what a belief.

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