Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24
If you have seen the old movie, Miracle on 34th Street, you will know exactly where my analogy comes from today. Late in the movie, little Susan Walker (played by a very young Natalie Wood), is struggling with believing in Santa Claus. The charming character, Kris Kringle, had been trying to get Susan to have belief beyond only the things that she could verify by her intellect. Her mother had drilled this idea into her for her entire young life- trust in only what you can see and verify.
As the movie progresses, Susan begins to wonder if there are things that might be true that she cannot verify with her intellect. Maybe she could believe in Santa Claus! Late in the movie, Susan’s nascent belief that maybe there could be a Santa Claus starts to wane again. She gets disappointed when she seems to not get the gift Santa had promised her.
In the car with her mom, she dejectedly, and half-heartedly says again and again “I believe, I believe” trying to convince herself to believe against all odds in Santa. Soon the car pulls up on the house that she had asked Santa to give her and her mom. It was true! Santa had delivered on his gift!
I am not asking my dear readers to believe in Santa Claus, but I think the principle holds with our belief in God. Sometimes, we are so disappointed and hurt by what we see around us, that we can lose hold on our belief. Is God real? Can he allow the pain and suffering we see around us? Can that God be trusted?
It is at those times that I sometimes feel like little Susan. I keep reminding myself, “I believe, I believe…” My faith is not simply a feeling that sustains me. It is a trust that God loves me and others in this world despite how discouraging it gets at times. I simply then rely on that old commitment that I made many years ago-
“I believe, I believe…”
Prayer: Lord, I believe, help my unbelief, Amen