There’s a story in the Bible (see Mark 9:14-29) about a man who brings his demon-possessed son to Jesus and basically says, “If you could do anything to fix this, that would be great.” Jesus looks at him somewhat incredulously (implied by the use of the most emphatic form of “if” in the Greek) and says, “What do you mean, ‘if’? IF you are able to believe, all things are possible to the believer.” The dad hears this, and according to one translation, says, “I do believe…now help my weakened faith.” And let me tell you, often I relate to this guy more than any other character in the Bible. Because I DO believe the Lord, just…weakly at times. I want to be this powerhouse believer, never wavering, never feeling nervous, never questioning, but I’m more likely to be the one saying, “Yeah, God, I know you’re perfectly capable of doing ______, but are you actually gonna?”
Such was the case when I went to Denver over my birthday weekend. I had a lot of expectations of the Lord because he had been shouting “REDEMPTION! REDEMPTION! REDEMPTION!” over the 6th of May since the start of the year. I just didn’t have a lot of optimism that J was in line with all of it because there have been sooooo many times where I was hopeful, and my hope dropped like a bird shot out of the sky in the face of whatever mess J was dealing with at the time. But I resolved to trust God regardless of how shaky I felt, and I went – this trip was the Lord’s idea to begin with, so once I said yes, I committed to it with everything I could.
And it was a fantastic weekend.
It was a little awkward at first; plus, flying sucks these days, so who’s really ever super-happy after stepping off an airplane? But I had a great, blessedly quiet hotel room – we both agreed that a neutral space would be better than me staying with J – and after getting a good night’s sleep, I felt a little more optimistic. We spent the whole of Friday driving through the Rocky Mountains, stopping whenever we wanted to, eating good food, and having good conversation. We really enjoyed each others’ company, and by Saturday night, I felt a physical and psychic shift. (Have you ever had that happen? Where you feel like your reality has literally been picked up and moved over a couple of inches and it takes you a second to recalibrate yourself?) We sat in the hot tub at my hotel, and J poured out his heart to me. Sadly, I couldn’t hear most of it because of the VERY loud children in the pool, but I could feel the truth and the sincerity of what he was saying. I didn’t tell him that until after we had gotten out, though. 😀
The bottom line is: things are not what they were. The old truly has passed away, and all things are made new. We’re still in the process, but we are watching God’s promises unfold before us. How gracious is he that our little, tiny, weakened faith is enough for him to work with? I am so very optimistic for our future now!
The rest of the story in Mark finds the disciples asking Jesus why they couldn’t cast the demon out of the boy, and he told them that kind couldn’t come out except by prayer. I say that to say this: if you need to see God move in a situation, PRAY. And give him your little, tiny, weakened faith, and let him take it from there. Don’t try to demand the hows or wheres or whens. Let him do it. If he says he will, he will.
Also, M and I are planning to move back to our beloved Alaska this summer, with J to follow when the Lord releases him to (at which time my cup shall overflow). How this came about is for another post, but I will say that it is well in line with the words the Lord gave me for 2018: restoration, equilibrium, and tabula rasa. I’ve applied for pretty much what seems my dream job, so hopefully I’ll have even more good news to share soon.
He’s so good, y’all. He really is.