I once heard of a young boy who was told that Jesus once said that you could say to a mountain, “Move from here to there!” and it would move. With faith, this little boy told a mountain to move. Years later, Mount St. Helens erupted! “Did I cause that?!” he wondered in his childlike faith.
When I hear about having a faith that can move mountains, I immediately want it and yet, at the same time, am aware that what I do have is mountains of unbelief and doubt within me. My doubt is not solely about moving mountains. My doubt is also not confined to some of what I would call the big questions of the Christian faith: Does God exist? Did Jesus really did die for my sins and rise three days later? These are important questions, but my doubts tend to run much more along the lines of: “Is God really in my midst and does He even like me? Can God really redeem me and make me new, even in those broken areas that don’t seem to ever be healed? Are God’s promises really for me? Can God really use me? Is God really using me… Or is this all in vain?”
A couple months ago someone pointed out one word spoken by Jesus about faith that I have not been able to shake. They have captivated my attention and given me great encouragement in the area of faith.
One place this word is seen is in Luke 7, where a Centurion asked Jesus to give the word to heal his servant. Here is Jesus’ response: “When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.”
The second place this word is seen is in Mark 6, when Jesus visits his hometown people take offense at him there. In response, Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their lack of faith.”
Amazed. I am amazed that Jesus, the Son of God, can be amazed. But there it is, Jesus was amazed by two things: faith and the lack of faith.
I am convinced that Jesus, at times, is amazed by my faith and that He is also sometimes amazed by my lack of faith. I flip back and forth between the two. I am rarely 100% full of faith, nor 100% lacking faith. I’m usually somewhere in between the two.
What has resonated deep in my soul and has become the prayer on my lips and in my mind, is one I have copied, verbatim, from another character in the Bible. This time it’s from a man who is nameless, known only as, “the boy’s father.” His son needed help, so he came to Jesus. The father said to Jesus, “But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
In the midst of the pendulum of faith and doubt that I swing upon, my earnest prayer has become, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” In this, I can be honest about my lack of faith and doubt, and at the same time ask for help in becoming one who might amaze Jesus with the presence of faith.
Posted by Emily Vancil