…help my unbelief. It’s easy to do. Getting caught up in a crowd can sometimes have negative consequences, like being identified with a group that cries out the loudest and finding out that the group that cries out the loudest, while perhaps well intended, isn’t always right. Gracious God, when the voices of the crowds become too loud, help my unbelief as I recall my faith and learn to trust my relationship with you.
One cannot be prepared for something while secretly believing it will not happen. Nelson Mandela
…the man believed …and started on his way. John 4:43-54 It was at least a days walk before returning to Capernaum where the official’s son lay close to death. It’s often difficult to walk away and trust that everything will be alright and yet by the time the official reached home, his son was healed. As we ourselves suffer or watch our loved ones sometimes succumb to various illnesses, how do we envision signs and wonders today? Are signs and wonders the essential part of our faith – or is our faith the substance of signs and wonders? Every journey we begin in faith is our confidence that as we believe and continue on our way “home”, the place where God has called us, in time we realize that by God’s grace, unseen signs and wonders have already gone before us.
But when I called you (men of Ephraim)… you did not deliver me from their hand. Judges 12:1-7 Asking for help isn’t the easiest of tasks. For some it can be rather challenging and there are times when we find the courage to ask, help does not come. It is particularly painful when those we thought would help, fall short of our expectations. Like Jephthah, trusting God, we must always be ready to move in this journey, lest our feet become planted in unhealthy soil. Instead of growing our dreams wither away. God did not create us to wither away. As God’s mercies are renewed every morning, so shall we be ready to receive God’s blessings. If it is God who calls us towards some action, we can expect that it will be God who not only guides the work of our hands and the direction of our steps, but also fulfills our accomplishments and completes our victories.
…but the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. Acts 27:27-44 Ever wonder why God brings certain people into your life? Even though Paul assured his boat mates and captures that the key to their survival was that they all needed to stay in the ship, there were those who believed the weight of the boat needed to be lightened. The first to go would have to be the prisoners. Sometimes we find our selves captured in various situations and the first thing we want to do is jump ship. But if we just hang in there a little while longer we find that it is often safer to stay where we are rather than battle the storms that rise to keep us from getting safely to the other side. Like the centurion that protected Paul, God places those soldiers in our lives as well, to intercede on our behalf. As for our steadfastness in the storm, perhaps we are being called to make disciples on the way to that peaceful shore.
‘Why could we not cast it out?’ 29He said to them, ‘This kind can come out only through prayer.’ Mark 9:14-29 There are times when our words fail us. Nothing we say can help the situation. The words we use to invoke the Holy Spirit upon our lives are being attacked by words of discouragement. That’s when prayer is at its best. Take it to the altar, let it go and trust God.