advent | day five.

It’s Day 5 πŸ–πŸ» of #samjyogaadvent on my @samj_yoga Instagram and it’s theme is BELIEVE ✨

I’ve made no secret of the struggles I’ve had in my faith life in the last few years. One of the stories that had echoed in my mind during this long season is from Mark 9.

A father brings his afflicted son to Jesus and begs Him to help, ‘if’ He can:

“The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”

“What do you mean, β€˜If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”

The father instantly cried out, β€œI do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

When Jesus saw that the crowd of onlookers was growing, he rebuked the evil spirit. β€œListen, you spirit that makes this boy unable to hear and speak,” he said. β€œI command you to come out of this child and never enter him again!” (Mark 9:22-25 NLT)

This story has meant everything to me mostly for 3 reasons.

The first reason is that Jesus makes it abundantly clear that we need only to believe (and He does so with a little snark, and maybe some sarcasm – my kinda guy). He doesn’t really specifically say what we’re to believe in, but in context, one can assume He means Himself.

Secondly, I love this because the father doesn’t even try making excuses for his misstep of maybe implying the Son of God might not be able to help him, but definitely implying that he’s not sure of this man. He’s desperate, though, and aware of it, so he just cries out, “help me overcome my unbelief!” He’s honest in his plea, and models an approach to Jesus people like me need. The Message bible translates ‘unbelief’ as ‘doubt’ and what Jesus does in response is my third reason:

Jesus healed the boy. He helped the boy, answering the father’s prayer, and no doubt, setting his feet on a solid rock of faith and belief.

No matter where you are in your faith journey, we can come to Him with our pleas and prayers and desperation. We can be honest about our doubts. Jesus is faithful to meet us there, and be our ever-present help.

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