"Father, help my unbelief."

In Mark 9, a father brings his son to Jesus for healing. The child has been possessed by a spirit from his earliest days and the father has tried everything to help him and finally brings him to Jesus begging his help and compassion. Jesus tells this desperate father that if he believes, anything is possible. The father, weeping, cries out, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!"

I am this man. I believe with all I have that God will provide for us, for our needs, beyond our needs. But my pride and my sinfulness kick in and I find myself frustrated and questioning myself, my God, my faith.

Last week I purchased over $700 worth of gift cards and arranged delivery of presents to a family in our Awana group that is in need of help. I am and was so grateful and proud of our Awana and church family for coming together and giving a sweet Christmas to these children and their mother. But I'd be lying if I said that I put it all together with a generous heart. The truth is that even as I collected and purchased, I found myself grumbling and whining about how little we have ourselves this season. Like all parents, I want to give the best to my children, and as we face another year of unemployment and very limited income, I knew that we had nothing to give. My children have thrown themselves into the idea of Santa this Christmas, probably because they recognize that Mommy & Daddy can't give them their "wants." And our oldest asked me directly if Gramma and Papa were going to give us some money to buy them Christmas presents.

Please don't misunderstand. I am so grateful for what we have. I know that we have so much more than so many others. And God has consistently provided our needs, even if it's no more than oatmeal in the morning and beans and rice at night, as one friend said.

But today God did an "I told you so." Today, in the form of 2 benefactors, one anonymous and one not, He told us, "I told you. I will provide all you need and more. I will give you blessings you cannot imagine. All things are possible to him who believes." Today He paid some of our bills, provided for some of our shortfalls for the month, gave us a way to spoil our kids a bit. Today, He hugged us and held us tight and reminded us not only of who He is, but what He is. Today, He whispered "trust me."

Abba, Lord, I believe, heal my unbelief!