“How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father. He replied, “Since he was a little boy. The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”
“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
I identify with this man and find comfort in his response, and Jesus’ response to it. There are times when I find myself struggling to believe in God’s promises. I’ve decided to believe because He has proven trustworthy and never failed me in the long term, but there are times when I just have trouble living out that decision – I stumble. Then, I right myself and pray, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
I had a conversation with a friend the other day about a situation where she forgot to trust in God’s provision and care and got worried and stressed instead of resting in His promises. After the fact, she saw her error and was frustrated with herself. She felt that she should have known better. I told her to consider that maybe it was actually a good thing – how else would she remember how important it is to trust that God will provide? We are a forgetful people and it’s only through our weakness that we (and others) can truly see God’s strength.
So, that’s my daily prayer, when I forget to trust in God and get worried or worked up over something, that I’d have the presence of mind to quickly right myself and pray, “I believe, help my unbelief!”