Mark 9:24 “Immediately the demon-possessed boy’s father cried out and began saying to Jesus, ‘I do believe; help me in my unbelief.'”
If faith can move mountains, why can’t I move a clod of dirt?
Ever feel that way? Ever feel like a spiritual pigmy in a world of spiritual giants?
The story in Mark 9 of a desperate dad provides a surprising word of hope. We can surely feel his desperation. For years, he had watched a demon afflict his young son. The demon had struck the boy mute and from time to time it seized him, slammed him to the ground, forcing him to foam at the mouth and grind his teeth. On some occasions, it had thrown the boy into a fire or into water-holes, trying to kill him. We can imagine the burn scars on his body and the constant fear of what might happen next. How horrifying for everyone!
In utter despair, the father cried out to Jesus for help. “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” Jesus replied, “If I can? All things are possible to him who believes.” And then we hear the man’s famous reply, “I do believe; help me in my unbelief.” And Jesus cast out the demon.
I’m glad that it only takes a spark of faith for Christ to respond to us.
Back in Mark 4, Jesus criticized His disciples for having “no faith,” though He still calmed the storm. But here the sliver of faith seems sufficient.
Truth be told, some days we feel like we could face lions. Other days, we fear everything. We’re fickle. Faith fluctuates. Sometimes we trust Jesus deeply. Other times, our hearts feel utterly overwhelmed by the burdens we bear.
“We believe, help us in our unbelief.”
And He does.
Whatever you may be facing today, whatever life or demons may throw your way, draw strength from the experience of that nameless dad. His cry has been the universal cry of humanity, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” And the Savior responded to the glimmer of faith in the question itself.
Desperate? Disillusioned? Discouraged? Distressed?
Christ delivered the boy from his oppression and then “took him by the hand and raised him up” (v27). He still does that at the smallest sign of faith.