“Everything is possible for him who believes,” (Mark 9:23 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Once a distraught father had an unruly son with multiple physical and emotional problems. Many people even said the boy was possessed by a demon. The dad had tried everything, but the boy continued to demonstrate antisocial behavior by throwing himself in fire and then in water. That sort of behavior, on top of frequent seizures, rolling on the ground, foaming at the mouth, and an inability to talk, made the dad desperate to find a solution. He even took the boy to some faith healers who were traveling through his hometown. But nothing seemed to work.
Finally, the dad realized no human being was going to be able to help his son, so he took him directly to God. The father heard that Jesus was visiting in his community, so he boldly brought the boy to Him. With desperation in his voice the father pleaded, “If You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!”
And Jesus answered, “If You can! All things are possible to him who believes.”
Immediately the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe: help my unbelief.”
With that profession, Jesus healed the man’s son.
Oh how this story from Mark 9 stirs my heart. Can’t you feel the father’s pain? How desperately he must have felt every time the child threw himself into the water or the fire. “Why son? Why do you do these things? I don’t understand,” he must have asked.
Imagine the humiliation of the whispers as the family walked down the streets. “That’s the Jones family. Have you heard about their son? He’s…..” The stares. The snickers. The off-color comments. Don’t you know there were many days when this dad wanted to just give up? Instead, he offers us a beautiful picture of what all parents must do, the ultimate act in parenting – hand our children over to God.
As mothers, aunts, grandmothers, and a host of other caretakers, at times we find ourselves at the end of our mental and emotional resources. We feel we have done everything humanly possible and don’t know the best action to take with our children. That’s exactly where God wants us every day, not depending on our human capabilities but on His unlimited abilities, not depending on our own impotence but on His potent power, not depending on our limited knowledge but on His unlimited wisdom. When we realize that we do not have and never will have all the child-rearing answers, we can find peace in giving our children to the One who does.
S.D. Gordon, in Quiet Talks on Prayer, said, “You can do more than pray, after you have prayed. But you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.”
(For those who have children still at home)
Dear God, today, I once again bring my child to you. Please show me how to parent this precious gift that you have given me. Help me to be the best mother (or caregiver) that I can be. I pray that Your Holy Spirit will teach me, Your wisdom will guide me, and Your love will move me. Most of all, Lord, I give this child to You. Please make him (her) a child after Your own heart.
In Jesus’ Name,
(For those with grown children)
Dear God, my child is no longer under my roof or under my wing. He (She) is now out in the world making life decisions of his (her) own. I give this adult child to You, Lord. May he (she) seek You with all his (her) heart. I pray that You will protect him (her), guide him (her), and open his (her) heart to the truth of God’s Word every day. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth (3 John 4 NIV).
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Make a list of things about your child over which you have no control.
Now turn that list into a prayer and relinquish each item of concern to God.
Remember Jesus’ reply to the father who said, “If you can do anything…” Write today’s key verse on an index card and commit it to memory.
More from the Girlfriends
No one ever said being a parent would be easy. If it were, I don’t think it would start with something called “labor!” If you would like to learn more about how to be a great parent, see Sharon’s book, Being a Great Mom-Raising Great Kids. Also, Sharon offers a 4×5 laminated prayer card of Scripture to pray for your children or grandchildren.
Sharon, Gwen and Mary’s new 12-week devotion book, Trusting God, is now available. This is the perfect book for individual study or for gathering a group of friends in what we call GiG Groups. With impactful devotions, study questions, journal pages, free on-line video intros, and an index of trust-building Scriptures…this book is a resource you’ll refer to time-and-time again.