The book of Mark is full of action. But the heart of the Gospel is faith, our belief in God.
So the story of the father in Mark 9 always touches me -- Jesus acts, but more than that, He teaches and shows that He is God. A man brings his child to be healed, couching his pleas with words like "but" and "if":
22 "But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Too many times, we preface our prayers with words like "but" or "if" or the one I use a lot, "just" ("just please help them"). But God can do much more than "but" or "if" or "just."
And so tonight I have tears rolling down my face because I believed more in "if" and "but" than in the truth of my prayers. When our family committed to Isaiah at the beginning of December, I didn't know if we could raise $1000 for his future family. I didn't know if other children would have the same amount raised for them, or that so many needy kids would have families choose them.
And so I come to you, and to God, in humility. Lord, help my unbelief. Because you -- me -- we -- and, ultimately -- God -- did it. Isaiah has $1400 in his account. One less hurdle for a family to cross. And the great thing is that SO many other kids have their goals met, too. See for yourself here. Oh, my goodness, this is AWESOME. What an AWESOME God we serve.
May Isaiah and so many like him have a family in 2011, like the new commitments we celebrate tonight. Happy New Year to you all!