What do you mean by, “if I can”?

Scripture reference: Mark 9:14-29

It’s the end of the wheat harvest. The whole town is buzzing with excitement in preparation for the celebratory feast. No matter how good the harvest has been, it does little to lift your spirits. For the next week, the wheat farmers will thresh their wheat and make bonfires to burn up the chaff. Those bonfires are your greatest fear.

For years, you’ve kept your youngest son locked up in a small room on the roof of your house. Despite the locks on the door, whenever he hears the crackling of any bonfire, he’ll find a way to escape from his room. He’s tried to burn himself alive before. There’ve been far too many incidences where he’s tried to drown himself in a lake, river or well while playing with the neighbor’s kids. You don’t quite know what to expect every time you check on him.

This morning, as you unlock the door, you find him hunched over in a darkened corner of the room. His eyes, once dark and intelligent, are now glassy and glazed over. His face is bruised and bleeding from deep cuts across his forehead. Great scars run across the length of his half-exposed body from the time he used to cut himself with stones. He’s never spoken a word since he was five. Without warning, he gives out a loud shriek and collapses on the floor, convulsing violently. A steady stream of vomit pours from his purple lips and you’re unable to do anything to help. Eventually he lies motionless on the wooden floor, the torment evident in his eyes. Before long, your cheeks are wet with tears as you sit caressing him.

“Everything’s going to be all right.” Despite your best efforts to comfort him, he pays no attention to your voice.

Your thoughts turn towards the quarrel you’ve had this morning with your wife. She’s heard from the neighbors that a ‘miracle worker’ is in town today. There are rumors that he’s healed lepers and fed five thousand people with five small loaves and two fish. He’ll be at the celebration when they light the first bonfire. You argued with your wife that to bring your son to the bonfire would mean suicide. However, at this point, you put aside your fears and pick your son up in your arms…

Elbowing your way through the crowd with your son on your back, you meet two men who claim to follow the ‘miracle worker’. Within minutes, it’s clear that they are powerless to cure your son of his affliction. Frustrated, you cry out, “I brought my son here so you can heal him! But your disciples can’t!”

Soon, you’re brought face to face with the ‘miracle worker’ himself at the bonfire. When your son sees him, he begins shaking uncontrollably and throws himself on the ground. Seeing the bonfire, he clambers towards it.

“How long has this been happening?” the ‘miracle worker’ asks.

“Ever since he was little.” You desperately try to rush after your son and panic begins to set in. “Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”

“What do you mean, ‘if you can’? Anything is possible if a person believes.”

Recently, I’ve been pondering over Jesus’s words in Mark 9:23 with a question of my own: What do I really believe? As a Christian writer, this question has challenged me to believe God to do the impossible in my life. The faith that we’ve been given as believers is mountain moving faith, the same faith that raises the dead to life. We have the same faith as Jesus has. Very often, we tend to be like the father of the demon possessed boy, who didn’t look beyond the physical circumstances. Are you living in faith or fear today?

We have been given the same Holy Spirit who empowered the prophets and apostles to do miracles. Reading the accounts of the prophets Elijah and Elisha, I’m amazed by how in step with the Holy Spirit they were. They knew exactly at what time and what place they were meant to be.

I wonder how many of us live life with reactive rather than active faith. We shouldn’t live blindly without knowing what God’s will is for our lives. Let’s be people who step out in faith and believe God’s promises.

5 thoughts on “What do you mean by, “if I can”?

What Do You Think?