Have you noticed how people change their minds so quickly lately? I have and have noticed it for some time now. I’ve noticed how people, young and old alike, make plans, but then when something better comes up, they rearrange their plans – even if it’s last minute. It’s really hard to get a concrete answer from them because they just kind of “flow with the river.” They never really ever come to a definitive answer and just stick with it. It’s almost as if they’re constantly looking for something better which is more expedient or more conducive to their taste.
Maybe I’m just showing my age, but I remember a time when your word was important and you could be trusted to stick to your word, no matter what. If you said you were going to be somewhere – you were there. If you said you were going to do something – it got done. I don’t see a lot of that these days.
So, it makes me wonder about our faith. Does that same present day attitude creep into our faith life as well? Do we take and accept God on our terms and if He’s acceptable in our lives?
That challenging little thought raced through my mind as I was reading Mark 9. In this chapter there’s a dad who brings his son to Jesus. His son has a real problem which has even been diagnosed by the dad – he has demons. These demons are trying to kill him. The dad tells Jesus the demons make him convulse and throw him into the water to try to drown him and throw him into the fire to try to burn him. He took his son to Jesus’ disciples but they couldn’t heal him. So now here he stands before the Son of God and the Son of Man asking for a miracle.
But his conversation with Jesus shows his reluctancy and hesitancy. He wants his son healed but is unsure if it’s just a probability or if it’s a positively. Here’s what he says to Jesus…
“Please have pity and help us if you can!” Mark 9:22 CEV
He wants to commit but he leaves the door open just in case this isn’t going to happen!
But don’t forget Jesus is standing right there. His reply to the dad’s uncommitted faith…
“Why do you say ‘if You can?’ Anything is possible for someone who has faith!” Mark 9:23 CEV
It’s then the dad makes his definitive declaration…
“I do have faith! Please help me to have even more!” Mark 9:24 CEV
Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Stick to your word and make sure your faith is Rock Solid, because “anything is possible for someone who has faith!”
Help me not to sway in my faith, but wholeheartedly trust You and live for You. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.
Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausenl
Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.