The boy’s father was at wits-end, was there any hope for his son? It had gone on for years, the boy’s twisting and thrashing about, so badly that he foamed at the mouth and attempted to throw himself into the home’s fireplace. He’d even come close to drowning when he’d thrown himself into deep water. It was a miracle he’d survived this long in his demon-possessed state. Now, his desperate father asked Jesus’s disciples to heal the boy, but they were unable. It was then that Jesus appeared, asking what was taking place–maybe He could help!
The exhausted, desperate father’s words were penned in the ninth chapter of Mark, verses 22-24, and we see Jesus’s answer to the dire situation: …”Oh, have mercy on us and do something if you can.” “If I can?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if you have faith.” The father instantly replied, ” I do have faith;oh, help me to have more!” (Living Bible)
Why is it difficult to have faith? Perhaps it’s easy to understand why this troubled father, after years of seeing his son struggle and nearly die, cried out to Jesus with a questioning plea of “do something if you can!”
But how often do we respond with “if You can,” in our fear and frustration, after the passage of time with no answer to our troubles?
This father knew his faith was faltering, and he reached out to Jesus for help with his own unbelief at the same time he was pleading for help for his son. Jesus answered the man by healing his son, and surely his faith was strengthened at the same time!
We won’t always get our prayers answered exactly the way we want them to be answered–but we can trust God’s perfect love for us. We can take comfort and find peace in the fact that “anything is possible” with the Lord–and our faith. And when we feel we cannot muster what faith we need, He will help us to have even more!