This past weekends retreat was filled with tremendous graces, miracles and blessings. The Holy Spirit was present in a way I have never experienced before and I can't wait to share some things with you over the next few days. Thank you for all of your prayers and sacrifices for me, the other team members and the teens. They were felt, all of them!
Today's Gospel hit home for me as I return from my own spiritual "mountain". It's an incredible story of healing and grace for a father who wanted peace for his son. Jesus challenges each of us in every crisis of our life, "Do you believe in me, even if my answer to your prayer is NO?"
This is the very place God brought me to this weekend. So when I opened my Bible this morning and read, I was convicted once again to step out in faith and believe that there is a plan for my life, and to trust that God will reveal that plan in His time. The only way for that to happen is to continue to seek Him in prayer. To continue to get to know God and find out who I am in the process.
The meditation below comes from The Word Among Us. I could not say it or pray it better than this, so breathe in the spirit and rest with Our Father. He is waiting for you. He wants to get to know you better and for you to know Him and the love that is waiting to be freely given to you. So let Him love you through His living word.
Meditation: Mark 9:14-29
This story of the healing of an epileptic demoniac is more than a story of a father trying to help his son. It’s a story about Jesus calling forth deeper faith.
When Jesus comes down the mountain, a crowd gathers around him, presumably waiting for him to do something spectacular. They had just seen his disciples fail in trying to cast out a demon; would Jesus fail as well? They had to find out. There doesn't seem to be a desire for more teaching or greater holiness—just the continuation of a controversy.
And the crowd got their wish. Jesus did indeed cast out the demon and heal the afflicted boy. But that wasn’t what Jesus was focused on. In fact, the whole healing episode seems to be a mere afterthought tacked on to the real story—that of the boy’s father and his growing faith.
“I do believe, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). It is in situations like these that faith is really tested. It’s in times when all our comfortable theorizing is challenged, and we are called to trust in God’s goodness in the face of a crisis. You can just imagine the man thinking, “What if my son isn’t healed? Can I still believe that God has my best interests at heart? Can I still trust that this Jesus, whose words sound so true, is the Messiah? Is my faith based only on whether I get what I want? Or is it based on trust, love, and surrender?”
We don’t know how the boy’s father ended up. But we do know that Jesus took the opportunity to teach his disciples that faith is not a matter of performing miracles as much as it is a matter of prayer (Mark 9:28-29). It’s not a matter of asking God to do things for you as much as it is a matter of submitting your philosophies, agendas, and intentions to him. Jesus knew that if they were ever going to take his gospel into the world, the disciples had to learn how to stay close to God—more than they had to learn how to heal. After all, when we are close to the Lord, miracles happen all the time!
“Jesus, I believe; help my unbelief! I want to invite you in to every relationship and situation that burden me. Come, Lord, and work wonders according to your plan and wisdom, and not according to mine.”
Labels: My Crazy Life