Me: Lake, turn that Monsters Inc. movie off, you know your brother is afraid of it.
Kaden: No, mommy, I'm not afraid of it anymore, because I believe in Jesus and He helps me not be afraid.
(about 5 minutes later) Conversation #2
Kaden: Lake said that we are gonna go to heaven and then come back here with Jesus on big horses to fight the devil. Are we gonna come back here on big horses to fight the devil?
Me: Well, yes, the Bible tells us that we will come back with Jesus and He will fight satan.....
Kaden: (almost in tears) But I'm afraid I might fall off that big horse!!!
Me: But you just said that you believe in Jesus and He helps you not be afraid............
Does this remind you of anyone? First, it reminds me of myself. I hope Kaden didn't learn his unbelief from his mommy! UGH! Secondly, it reminds me of a Bible story I first learned when I was in first grade.
Remember in Mark 9, when Jesus healed the boy that was possessed by an evil spirit? The boy's father brought him to the disciples and they said they couldn't heal him even though they had been given the power and authority. After Jesus rebukes the disciples for their little faith, Jesus asks the boy's father how long the child had been possessed and he tells Him that he has been this way since he was a child. Then the father basically says to Jesus, "If there is anything you could do for my son, we would appreciate it". If there is anything Jesus can do????? IF??? You are talking to Jesus and you say "if you can"? Unbelievable.
'If you can' seems like a silly thing to say to the Second Person of the Trinity, the Son of the God of the Universe, the Man who IS God and is a known healer, right?? Right. But, don't we use the Word 'IF' when we talk to God? Oh, we may not actually say the word, but sometimes we pray as though we are talking to Someone who may not have the ability to accommodate our requests. Or maybe we pray as though we are talking to Someone who doesn't care enough to help us when we ask.
The next thing the father says in this story is quite interesting (probably because I have said it before myself - A LOT). Standing before Jesus, who is God made Man, the father says ""I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!". I wonder why Jesus didn't say, "What? Either you believe or you don't, which is it?" But He didn't question the man, He simply healed his son. Leaving no room for doubt about the "If you can" -- He can and He did. He is able.
This father was apparently someone who had just heard about Jesus, someone who had heard about the miracles and knew his son needed a miracle of his own. The disciples who had followed Jesus for most of His earthly ministry, had seen him raised from the dead, had seen all the miracles, had been given authority and power to heal in His name--- did not have enough faith to use those powers effectively. You would think that the men who had been witness to the power of Jesus, would not have a problem with belief, but they did. As we do.
In this story, Jesus rebukes the disciples for being an 'unbelieving generation' and then says "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me." Jesus was basically saying, "I have given you my power and you are still an unbelieving bunch, how long do I have to baby you and prove Myself to you people? If you cant heal this boy, I can!" I cant help but believe that this is how Jesus feels about us. He has proven Himself to us over and over, yet we still struggle with issues of faith and trust.
I know the same words He spoke to the disciples are meant for us today - those of us who have followed Him for years, yet still don't trust that He has the power to do miracles in our lives - "O unbelieving generation, how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?" Yet when we ask "If you can, God" or when we say "I believe" and in the next breath say "Help me overcome my unbelief" -- He understands and He shows us that He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.