If you’ve seen the movie Shadowlands, you might remember some words spoken between C.S. Lewis and one of his Oxford students – “We read to know we’re not alone.” (If you haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend it. But grab a box of tissues first – I needed about 13 the first time I watched the movie.)
We read to know we’re not alone. Each morning when I read from my One-Year Bible, I encounter Bible characters whose faith struggles and experiences shed light on my own. Reading from Mark 9 today was no different.
Here was the situation:
– A man brought his son to Jesus, asking for healing.
– The boy had been possessed by an evil spirit that wouldn’t let him talk.
– The father asked Jesus for help.
– Jesus rebuked the evil spirit and cast it out of the boy.
Accounts like this in the Bible are encouraging to me for (at least) two reasons.
(1) With God, nothing is impossible.
I sometimes find myself thinking the same thing that the boy’s father said – “Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”
And how did Jesus reply?
“What do you mean, ‘If I can’? Anything is possible if a person believes.”
(2) We can ask God for help to believe.
I love how the father of the needy boy worded his request:
“I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
Such satisfying honesty. I need God’s help to overcome my unbelief, too.
Getting glimpses into other people’s belief struggles helps me realize that authentic growth in faith has its ups and downs. How gracious of God to include those words in the Bible.
Words like that keep me reading, grateful that I’m not alone. And grateful that with God, nothing is impossible.