Help Me in My Unbelief

I wrote last week about what we could do when joy becomes elusive. Well, the misfortune of last week doubled down this week and gave Anna and me a run for our money. Ok, that may sound a little dramatic as I say it out loud, but it sure didn’t feel that way when facing down the urgent health issues of our child. As a parent, when you cannot ease their physical pain or solve their problems, it leaves your head spinning. We went from trying to find joy in a series of unfortunate events to genuinely trying to keep our heads up to keep from drowning in despair.

There are two valuable biblical concepts that I’ve learned from our Pastor at Seacoast that I tried to keep in mind this week. The first is the concept of seasons. The Bible speaks of the timing of a season and the ebb and flow of seasons several times. Essentially it means that things will not stay the same. Everything goes through transitions and sometimes even comes to an end, but I can tell you we will be rejoicing when my daughter’s season of pain and health issues is over.

Our friend made us a funny sign that seemed wildly appropriate. It says…
“This too shall pass. It may pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass.”

The second biblical concept that we have relied heavily on this week is that it is ok to borrow and lean on the faith of our friends. Pastor Greg has often reminded us that we all have times when our faith is a bit puny and when pain and fear seem to drown out God’s promises and miracles. Even the ones we have already seen happen in our lives.

This week I was so grateful for friends to remind me: Cora being born, in the first place, was a miracle and gift. Meeting Anna was His divine appointment. The house we live in, which we call our “Immeasurably More” house, was God’s abundant provision. My father’s tumor, which is shrinking and not growing, is an answer to a desperate prayer. My brother’s sobriety and the defeat of cancer in his life is another example of God’s overwhelming assistance. I could go on and on.

After being a personal witness to these and many other examples of God’s favor and provision, you would think that my lack of faith this week would make God frustrated. Instead, God shows us that He loves it when we build these kinds of spiritual muscles. In fact, He gives us example after example of men and women strengthening their faith during tumultuous times. It’s like God’s highlight reel for the Bible. 

Similar to what I felt like this week, Mark 9:14-29 tells us about a desperate dad losing his mind over his sick child, who was in pain and tormented. The man finds Jesus and begs him, saying, “If you can help, please heal him.” In return, Jesus says, “If I can? Everything is possible for one who believes.” The father’s response was perfect. Scripture tells us that, “Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Jesus, seemingly unfazed, heals the boy.

I’m learning that Jesus is much less concerned with my perfect faith than He is with the posture of my learning heart.

As we start a new week, Anna and I are incredibly grateful for the saints in our lives that have rallied around us and are praying for Cora. We are taking ground, asking God to help us in our unbelief. We are not done with this thing yet, so please keep praying.

Thank you again. We will get through this together.

In His service and at yours!

~Shawn

Published by Shawn McCarthy

While serving as the Weekend Experience Pastor at Seacoast Church, I felt God prompting me to share the moments when He would speak His truth into my life through scripture in a way that made sense to me, giving me tangible ways to learn, grow and lead. These promptings turned into weekly emails that I would send my small groups and volunteer teams. I found myself enjoying the process of digging deeper into God’s Word, being stretched by the writing process, and encouraging others in the faith. My lovely wife, Anna, challenged me to begin this blog, so these moments that I have come to call, my “Red-Letter Moments,” can find a home. My prayer is that you will find hope, comfort, and inspiration here, and above all, you will come to know that the God of the universe loves you and desires a personal relationship with you.”

10 thoughts on “Help Me in My Unbelief

  1. Sorry to hear Cora is ill. We will be praying for her and her parents. Being parents we know how tough it is to see one of our children in pain. God bless you and your family.

    Rick and Dianna Kirkpatrick

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  2. Shawn, the prayers that were so forthcoming to you and your family this week, were leaps of faith, faith and more faith. Belief that under God all things are possible, “ain’t that the truth”.Our prayers are never ending for you and all out beloved friends. You are blessed. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

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