23 November 2010

Jesus Wants Us To Grow Up

Mark 9:14-29

"I believe; help my unbelief!"

This simple phrase is the statement I resonate the most with.  I find myself praying this to our Father in Heaven all the time.

My head knows that Jesus wants to work through me.  My head knows that through Jesus, I have emmense power just longing to be unleashed.  My head knows that there is a powerful force for good just waiting to be used by those of us who understand this fact.

But, my heart is weak.  I am easily distracted.  I am easily discouraged.  I sometimes so want to do what I want, I ignore what the Father wants me to want.  I easily come up with excuses.  I easily explain away that which can easily be accomplished by that which cannot be seen by temporary eyes.

My growth is so slow.  As soon as I think I have grown, I am confronted with a situation that causes me to look back.  How would I have reacted to the violent convulsing of a child?  Jesus wasn't there.  Jesus knows how to handle these situations.  I don't.

This is the tension for followers of Jesus.  Jesus wants us to know that we can do nothing without him.  But, he wants us to act as though he is with us, because he is.  "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see."  He wants us to allow Him to work through us.  Why?  Because that is how we grow.  And all parents who love their children, want to see their children grow.

We miss out on so much potential because we refuse to grow up.  We are a society of people not "ready" to commit to anything until after 30.  The problem with refusing to grow up is that a fallen world needs mature people to take up the responsibility for cleaning up the mess; for taking care of those who desperately need it. 

You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.”

The sad part is that without faith in Jesus, others suffer.  When there are no people who are willing to allow Jesus to work through us, spirits continue to seize little boys and throw them into the flames.

Jesus' brother James was right, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:  to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." 

Too often we read those descriptions as seperate, unrelated categories.  But, they are not.  One cannot exist without the other.  Righteousness, walking humbly with our God, is the foundation of justice and kindness, looking after orphans and widows in their distress, not just a neighbour of justice and kindness.  We cannot do good unless we can see who is good.  We cannot love mercy unless we understand the mercy that has been shown to us.  We cannot seek justice if we do not understand what justice is.  We cannot look after orphans and widows in their distress unless we live with the one who has brought us out of our distress.

What do I want out of life?  What do I want to do?  When seeing a father and a son who desperately need help, do I want to watch helplessly or do I want the ability to help those who truly want help?

"I believe; help my unbelief!"


  1. I often wonder if unbelief is another way of saying: "I just don't trust you, God. I don't think you are strong enough to do the job."