“I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)
I’ve often found it easy to relate to — yes, to identify with this passage. Did I say often? … a lot! I’m afraid this passage can be quoted as more of a crutch or excuse than we’d often like to admit. It’s far too easy to get stuck here — to acknowledge the diagnosis and be content. But that is entirely the wrong kind of contentment! This is the kind of diagnosis that calls for holy discontent. As JD Walt puts it, “Jesus waits for a generation who will not be content to live out their lives in the lazy place between belief and unbelief.”
In the greater context of this passage, it wasn’t the father of the demon-possessed boy that was so unbelieving; rather it was Jesus’ disciples — and they are confounded by their spiritual weakness. Jesus gives them the cure — prayer! Not ritualistic, going through the motions, gotta say the right words in the right order with the right emphasis incantations. But the kind of prayer that is born of intimacy — a relationship overflowing with the Spirit of Holy Love.
I don’t know about you, but lazy faith is not a characteristic I want to have my life marked by. May the Spirit of Holy Love be the very breath we breathe today. May the intimacy of this relationship overflow in continual prayer. And may we be so wholly discontent with anything less that we persevere unwaveringly in this pursuit.