Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sharp (03/07/13)
TITLE: If You Believe
By Janet Richey
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In my search for Godly council, I found Bob, social worker extraordinaire. He had a knack for finding a biblical truth to every lie Satan had fed me. After confessing one particularly shameful sin, Bob remarked, “Oh, so Jesus didn't die for that sin?” His perfectly timed sarcasm and humor were endearing to me. The therapist-client relationship is a complicated one, if not imbalanced. Bob knew my deepest darkest secrets, and yet, I didn't even know what city he lived in. I was all over the map on how I felt about him, but in the end settled on viewing him as a teacher and spiritual adviser. I admired him, but in a professional way. He would say “I am your husband's best friend.” Each week, I would present whatever crisis I was living at the moment, and he would invariably respond with one of three very important truths: God loves me. God forgives me. God is sovereign. Blah. Blah. Blah. I wasn't hearing any of it.
I am reminded of the story in Mark 9:14-29 where Jesus comes upon a group of arguing scribes because the disciples were unable to cast out the unclean spirit of a boy. I love how the 2011 NIV version translates his reply in verse nineteen “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “How long shall I stay with you? How long should I put up with you..” In my somewhat irreverent mind I could hear Jesus saying to me with an exasperated sigh “When are you going to get it?”
By the sixth year it seemed that Bob was ready to sign my discharge papers, when I became unexpectedly pregnant. And while this recent addition to our family was a welcome and celebrated one, postpartum depression immediately followed. I was back to square one. But during this second go-around I was a little more mature and a little more focused. My prayers were frequent; more purposeful. I was actually reading my Bible and things finally started to click in my stubborn brain.
The story in Mark chapter nine, continues with the boy's father saying “....But if you can do anything, take pity...” to which Jesus responded, “If you can?...Everything is possible for one who believes.” The father cried out and said “...I believe; help my unbelief!” Then Jesus cast out the unclean spirit in the boy. When asked by the disciples why they were unable to do it themselves, Jesus said, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” That was the crux of coming out of my depression. Believing that God wanted me to be healed, praying that He would, and then forgiving those who had caused me pain in my past.
After reading that story, I realized that it was okay to ask God to help my unbelief, so I did. And guess what? He answered that prayer and opened my eyes to the blessings and already answered prayers that were right in front of me, in the form of my husband and three kids. For the first time ever, I understood with razor-sharp clarity, that God created me for a purpose. I had value, and he wasn't finished with me yet.
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