The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” — Mark 9:24
“Yes! Answered prayer!” The father of a very sick boy must have exclaimed just before he encountered Jesus’ disciples. After all, the disciples had recently healed many sick people (Mark 6:7. 12-13).
This dad may have thought, “Sure, the disciples aren’t Jesus, but they have restored the health of many. They can certainly work a miracle for my son.”
But they didn’t. Actually, they couldn’t.
We know this hurt because when this father does encounter Jesus and his boy is healed, this dad reveals a faith that is both strong and not strong. He says, “I do believe. But help me with my unbelief!”
The dad here admits what we should all admit. Unbelief is a part of who we are. We do not intentionally block belief, but we certainly don’t live out the truth that our God is with us every moment of every day. We fumble. We falter. We fail.
Why? We hold unbelief.
That is why this verse is so vital. To Jesus, this man admits who we all are—believers. We are also unbelievers. Then this dad does the coolest thing. The best thing. He asks Jesus to change this unbelief in him.
And Jesus does.
Jesus will do the same for us, too. Rather than keep our unbelief from Jesus, let’s give our unbelief to him. Jesus will know what to do with it. Even more astoundingly, perfectly and precisely, Jesus will know when he’ll do it, too. It will be at the point when we need Jesus the most. He will take the belief we have in him and double, triple or quadruple it.
PRAYER: Lord, unblock our unbelief. Amen.