Turn your eyes upon Jesus <3

We have sun today.

Which is most welcome after some crazy days this week where we went from sun to rain to snow flurries and back. In a matter of minutes sometimes.

I do love the Midwest. Always an adventure.

Kind of like my moods. Let’s all pause right now and say a prayer for Russ…(insert smile)

Our church, as you may know, is doing an all-church study of Mark’s Gospel for the season of Lent.

The sermons have been so good and you can find them at   http://www.firstdecatur.org/sermons

Last week Pastor Wayne talked about the healing of the boy recorded in 9:14-29.

If you are unfamiliar with the story (or are like me and never mind hearing a good one repeated over and over and over….) – this is the one about the father who brought his son to the disciples to be freed of a spirit that had harassed him his whole life.

All manner of frightening things had transpired in this young boy’s life and the father was desperate to see his son delivered from this nightmare.

Jesus shows up as a crowd has gathered and some of his exasperated disciples are about to throw in the towel.

We have to remember at this point that the disciples were not rookies anymore. He had sent them out alone by this time and they had already experienced no small amount of miracles of their own plus having been party to some big works at His side.

But they were hitting a stone wall on this one.

So when Jesus arrives, the dad turns to Him in exasperation and asks that famous question…

IF you can do anything…would help us out here?

To which Jesus gives that equally famous answer…

IF…YOU…can believe, I can do anything.

The father responds here with words that I am sure we all have echoed a zillion times on this rocky road journey we are on…

I DO believe…but LORD! HELP my unbelief.

I DO believe You can do anything…but oh Lord…there are little pockets of doubt..and You see them..and You see how my heart is breaking at the understanding that MY weakness could be holding back Your miraculous work in this setting. So please help me Lord to BELIEVE and then to believe MORE.

Our pastor pointed out to us that as this young child lay thrashing on the ground, foaming at the mouth and twisted in the agony of demonic possession, Jesus was calmly addressing a father’s faith first.

And then, just as if He was telling an unruly child to behave, He commanded the demon to leave the boy…and because He is who He said He is…the demon did.

He reached out a hand and lifted the child and then did a de-briefing with His baffled disciples.

Our pastor reminded us that in the midst of our scariest, most awful moments…Jesus remains calm and in control. Don’t confuse that with being compassionless or uncaring. Oh, He cares. But He isn’t undone by what undoes you and me.

I encountered this truth not too long ago as I was praying for one of our kiddos back in the Fall this year. One of them had asked for prayer for an upcoming event and so I headed out to walk and intercede.

As I walked and prayed and fretted out all the possible glitches that could happen (because faith-filled woman that I am, I try and think of every bad thing that could transpire that God may not have thought to cover….)

I had gotten myself into quite a state at one point and so I cried out…Lord, I sure would like to know how you are praying. I would love to just pray Your prayer over this.

And I got the sweetest rebuke.

I kind of felt like He was saying….

Well, Laura. I am not wringing my hands over this child. I am thinking instead how much I love this one and how precious this life is to Me. I am smiling over the future I have planned for your child and so how about you just thank Me for the blessing of being the mom and then trust Me for all that will be? Oh…and PS…I love you too, you little worrywart <3

Wow.

It has changed my prayer life drastically.

How about you?

In your settings, are your eyes on the crisis or the Christ? The One who holds it all together and loves you and yours so dearly?

It isn’t easy, but we have help….let’s all say it together….

Lord, I DO believe…Help my unbelief!