Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
John 11:40 (NASB)
Series Focus: “Along the Way”
Are you a glass half-full or a glass half-empty kind of person? I usually describe myself as a glass overflowing type, bubbling with positivity, life, and energy. Recently, I heard a podcast expressing this thought: Whether a glass is half-full or half-empty, both present room to grow! I like that!
I wonder how much growth I have stifled by being full of myself… Have I relied on my own abilities and disregarded the power of God? When my strength has failed, have I missed out on the fullness of God?
I’m reminded of the story in Mark 9. A boy suffered from violent seizures and the disciples could not help the child. Jesus stepped in and challenged the father to believe all things are possible. The father cried out in verse 24 (NASB):
“I do believe; help my unbelief!”
Recognizing our weaknesses, inabilities, and shortcomings, we realize we need our Savior. The father had a measure of faith, but not faith enough to help his son. We are capable of nothing good apart from God. Fear, doubt, and exhaustion creep in when we are stuck in our own abilities and self-confidence.
There’s another story in the Gospel of Mark of a father overcome with concern for his sick child. He, too, sought help from Jesus. Verses 35-42 (NASB) report:
While He was still speaking, people came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; why bother the Teacher further?” But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid, only believe.” And He allowed no one to accompany Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James. They came to the house of the synagogue official, and He saw a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing. And after entering, He said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child has not died, but is asleep.” And they began laughing at Him. But putting them all outside, He took along the child’s father and mother and His own companions, and entered the room where the child was in bed. And taking the child by the hand, He said to her, “Talitha, kum!” (which translated means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!” And immediately the girl got up and began to walk, for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astonished.
I love the instruction and actions of Jesus in this story. The circumstances really aren’t what they seem when Jesus is on the scene! Not only does He encourage the father to “ONLY” believe, but he also speaks the promise and removes all those expressing anything opposing the faith, truth, and power of God. The father must have remained silent and mustered up all he could to believe, filling any emptiness in himself with faith in Jesus.
Self-sufficiency, or fullness of self, is rooted in pride and fear and allows no room for Jesus to work in our lives. No longer a glass half-full or half-empty, we become empty, broken glasses. There’s only One who can put those pieces back together—Jesus.
The encounters these fathers had with Jesus resulted in the miracles of health and life for their children. Jesus restored their legacies because they each embraced His instruction to believe—to increase or grow in faith. Recognizing they each could do nothing in themselves to bring deliverance to their children, they sought out the help of Jesus.
How about you? Are you a glass half-full, half-empty, overflowing, or depleted? Do you recognize and embrace your need for Jesus to fill you? Have you made room for Him? One miraculous encounter with Him can make all the difference. Let’s not allow fear or pride to fill us. Rather, may we leave room to grow in Him as we only believe.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Mark 5:35-43, 9:14-29; Matthew 9:23-26; Luke 8:49-56; John 11:40