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  • Wayne Chasney

Are You Sure?

Weekly Meditation

"Immediately the father of the child cried out, "I believe; help my unbelief." (Mark 9:24)

              Are you sure? About anything? 

             Sometimes I'm jealous of people who seem certain about things - anything. Those who are certain they've made the right decision. Those who are sure their opinion is the right opinion. Those who know what is right and what is wrong.

              I live a much more un-certain life. I've been told it's the curse of my personality type. I am a collector of information. I don't want to decide until I have enough information. And I never have enough information. That means I'm never certain of much of anything.

              Is my opinion better than the opposite view? I'm not sure. 

             Will this road really take me to where I want to go? I better check the map again.

              Is God real? Hmmm.

              I often run across a sense among people that faith in God is an all or nothing thing. It's either/or. Either you believe or you don't. Those who aren't certain figure they fall into the "don't" category and those who are certain seem more than happy to put them there. 

             In Mark's gospel is the story of a father who brings his son to Jesus to be healed of his seizures. He had brought the boy to Jesus' disciples first, but they were unable to help. Jesus calls his disciples part of a "faithless generation." His disciples! The ones following him around and hanging on his every word are "faithless." 

             Then Jesus tells the father, "All things can be done for the one who believes." And the father of the boy responds, "I believe; help my unbelief."

              This story acknowledges the grey area between certainty and doubt. Jesus' faithful disciples are "faithless" and a man who believes wants help with his unbelief. Perhaps the real point is that they are still growing in their faith. If they are still growing, maybe we are too.  

            Of course I believe that God is real. What I am unsure about is just what that means. And because I'm not certain what it means to say God is real, I will need to keep collecting information and struggling with my doubts and drawing conclusions that are tentative and changing. The one thing I am certain about is that God is beyond our certainty.        

              Yes, God, I believe. Help my unbelief.

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