Mark 9:16-24 (NLT)
“What is all this arguing about?” Jesus asked.
17One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk. 18And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn’t do it.”
19Jesus said to them, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”
20So they brought the boy. But when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw the child into a violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth.
21“How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father. He replied, “Since he was a little boy. 22The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”
23“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
24The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
When I study this passage, I find it very interesting that this dad is very honest about his doubts. He tells Jesus that he does have doubts about the healing of his son even though he has faith. That is so true, if I put myself in that dad’s place, I too would have a lot of doubt about the healing of my child. The dad saw his son being tormented for years. I am sure he did what I would have done – sought the best help possible (time and time again) only to be left disappointed.
“So, Jesus, if you can, please help.”
I don’t sense that Jesus was coming down on the dad when he questioned him, “If I can?” Instead, I hear Jesus having concern for the dad – HE (Jesus) understands our deepest hurts and cares.
Do you have an “If You Can?” prayer for God today? A prayer of both doubt and faith?
How can your doubt actually grow your faith?