Saturday, January 9, 2010

Where Faith Falls Short

The man whose son was demon-possessed (see Mark 9) believed there was some possibility that Jesus could help him, or he would not have bothered to come. Possible? Said Jesus. Of course it’s possible! “Everything is possible to one who has faith” (Mark 9:23). How much faith would it take to heal this young man? “Probably more than I’ve got,” the father thought. When a man begins to try to measure his faith (what “quantity”? Will this do?) he will always find that he comes up short. What to do next? “Help me where faith falls short,” (v.24) is his request. Such a prayer sees oneself as deficient and in need of help. It sees Jesus as able to make up for deficiencies of any kind, even of that which seems most necessary for healing. Will He refuse on the ground that this man ought to manage a more robust belief? Will the father’s self-acknowledged failure deprive the son of healing?

Jesus took over. “I command you to come out of him and never go back!” (v.25). What the father could not do (nor could the disciples) Jesus did. He always responds to faith in Him. We may come without fear, even though we know our faith leaves much to be desired. We may always come. He will not turn us away. He will meet us where we are and He will help us where faith falls short.

The Music of His Promises by Elisabeth Elliot