“Jesus said to him, ’If you can? Believe! All things are possible to him who believes.’ ”. Mark 9:23
Most people don’t know this. I don’t remember ever talking to anybody about it. Not sure why. I guess I’ve always felt that it was either too personal or people would think I’m weird so I’ve kept it to myself. When I was about twelve or thirteen I had a dream in which one of my brothers died. I don’t usually remember my dreams but I remembered this one and I remembered how overcome I was in my dream over the loss. I didn’t like being overwhelmed that way and I felt that the reason for it was that I was unprepared for the loss. So in an effort to be emotionally prepared if something terrible were to happen I started imagining situations happening: loss of friends or family members, terrible injuries to myself or others, catastrophic loss of personal possessions or finances. If it could happen to a person I imagined myself in that situation so that I could somehow strengthen my emotions to better handle the shock and strain.
Weird, huh? Remember I was still preadolescent. People do funny things at that age.
But here’s the thing. While in many ways I think that I’m better prepared for many situations than I would have been otherwise there’s also the weakness of being a person’s that’s always hedging their bets in life. Never really letting yourself wholeheartedly take hold of and trust and believe that your hopes for the best are possible. This always being prepared for when the worst happens means that at least on some level you believe that the worst will happen. And this belief that disaster is inevitable very quickly leads us to doubt.
Friends, what we need is belief. Belief that Jesus’ love and goodness has already conquered this train wreck of planet and belief that if we accept him he can make his victory ours. We need to start imagining the glorious possibilities that are ours now that Jesus is king in our lives and believe that he can make those possibilities reality.
Too many times we’re like that father bringing his son to Jesus with a story about how life or others have let us down and disappointed us and then making a request prefaced by the words, “If you can…”
There’s no “if” when it comes to Jesus’ abilities. The limiting factor isn’t him. It’s us. We don’t know his will. We don’t trust his love. We don’t rely on his wisdom. We don’t claim his promises. So Jesus commands us to believe. Because all things are possible for those who believe.