I Believe | Katherine Ryan

Mark 9:14-29

In today’s reading, we see Jesus drive out an unclean spirit from a possessed boy. The boy’s father brings his son to Jesus’s disciples, yet they are unable to heal him.

When the father asks Jesus if he can heal his son, Jesus simply responds, “If I can?!” (He was incredulous, I imagine.) Then, “All things are possible for the one who believes.”

The father cries back, “I believe, help my unbelief!” And Jesus heals the son.

This story is a reminder to me of how often I doubt the Lord, His ability, His power.

I believe that God has a plan for my life, yet I can’t stop worrying about the future. I believe that God is good, yet I look around and only see pain and brokenness, mass shootings and seemingly never-ending conflicts. I believe that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made, yet I can be quick to tear others down, or believe that I am not enough. I believe that I need God, yet I daily try to live my life without Him, to do it on my own.

After reading this story, I want to adopt the cry of the Father. To daily profess to the Lord, “I believe, help my unbelief.”

But I also want to take hope in the fact that despite my unbelief, despite my brokenness and sin, God will still heal. In fact, He’s the only one who can. In this passage, the boy cannot defeat the demons on his own. The disciples, who have been able to cast out other demons, are unable to cast out this boy’s. It’s a problem that only God can fix. Jesus is the Creator and he has power over all created things, even the most threatening, scariest things we face. The father humbly recognizes the need for Jesus in healing his son, believes, and still asks for help with his unbelief.

“Help our unbelief” as we accept our limitations to fix ourselves, others, and the brokenness of the world. “Help our unbelief” as we entrust these things to the Lord.

During Lent, we have an opportunity to examine the things that are preventing our belief – preventing us from fully trusting in the Lord and his faithfulness. And as we take the time to explore what these things may be, we can also find comfort in this story – in the fact that God will always remain faithful to us, even in our unbelief and weakness.

“He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24

Katherine often goes by “K-Bear.” She loves when people visit her in NOMA.