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Monday, April 19, 2010

Unbelieving, I believe

Read one of my favorite passages in Mark today . . the father who brings his convulsing son to the disciples who fail to heal him, and then Jesus gets pulled in.  I love the father's heart cry:  Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.  This paradox of vacillating certainty, accentuated by parental love.  My own son is not falling into fires or dramatically beset by indwelling demons.  But I long for his healing and safety and happiness all the same. 

Luke has opted for Yale.  It has been a good, long, restless month of processing.  Praying, reading, researching, corresponding, trying out arguments, deciding and not-deciding.  There were other great choices, closer to grandparents.  So it took him a long time to sort out that this was where he really WANTED to go, and to courageously step through a door God graciously opened with fantastic financial aid.  It's a whole new world out there, where the best schools in the country can also be the least expensive for low-income missionaries.  Luke is an amazing person and it is a frightening privilege and responsibility to be his parent.  

The decision brought a moment of relief, it's done.  But then reality set quickly in.  We're out of limbo-land, where we can pretend that life goes on like this indefinitely, where we ignore the fact that tomorrow is the last day our family of six will live together in the only home we've ever had.  Suddenly we have a real college to deal with, with paperwork and schedules and dates and decisions.  Suddenly we are here, at the end of all things we've known.

That's where I cry with the father of the epileptic:  Lord I believe (look what you've done, bringing this 8-month-old baby to Uganda in 1993 and now he's survived 17 years and grown to  6' 2" and read a thousand books and is encouraging US that God is the constant in all the moves ahead).  Lord help my unbelief (this child of Africa thrown into the icy competition of the Ivy League, this home that has been our base shifting).  The father's faith is gritty, honest, unpolished, real, and desperate.  I like that.  But it's not the real story:  the real story is Jesus who does not let the boy suffer from the failures of others, who breaks in, who asks questions, and who at last authoritatively brings life, who is willing to pay the cost of prayer and fasting to pull this boy out of the fire and water.  Let me rest on that Jesus.


Tricia said...

And may you get sweet rest there. Blessings to you and yours. Wherever you go, whatever you do, God will be there with you.

montbretia said...

i agree, it's so amazing how we remember the infant that is now ready to go forth as a young adult. Luke is being sent forth, your first arrow from the quiver to do mighty deeds in faith. xo ~kb in dublin

Anonymous said...

I've chosen this verse in the past as MY verse; it's nice to know that somewhere in the world someone shares the same "struggle" as I find I often do -- wanting to trust with all my heart, but wavering when circumstances seem bigger than my faith -- may God grant us both that extra measure of faith -- and remembrance -- that He is bigger than ALL or ANY of our circumstances! God Bless~