There are a few times in the Bible where Jesus seems exasperated with those around him. In Matthew 8:26 Jesus seems to be disturbed by the fact that he isn’t getting much rest because the disciples, who are in the same boat, are freaking out over the storm in which they find themselves. I don’t know how many times I have read that and thought, “What is wrong with those guys?”
Often people mistakenly think that ministers, elders, and the spiritually elite are somehow immune to the issues of “little faith.” Often ministers make that mistake in evaluating themselves too. Ministers should be ministers not because of their faith, but because they are obedient to a calling. Which means the only reason I am in ministry is because God chose me and I’m being obedient to that. We may be able to cover our tracks pretty well because we seem to have it together when others are suffering. However, when the suffering becomes our own we stand in just as much need or greater need of increased faith.
Recently, I got to be one of those people I have visited in a hospital waiting room. At first I was ok, but as the hours slipped by I fell deeper and deeper into a state of anxiety almost to the point of tears as I began to anticipate what may become of someone I loved and who I can least afford to lose if I am to survive this life. No amount of prayer or scripture seemed to stem the tide of my unraveling. Outside I think I was holding it together, but inside I was not a picture of faith, trust, or did I look like someone who was fully devoted to Jesus. It was a humbling experience and one that identified once again that I’m just like those guys in the boat.
But here is the good news. I am more like the man in Mark 9:24 than I like to admit, but it is my admission that hopefully leads to Christ’s action on both my part and the part of the one I love. O Ye of Little Faith may be more of a badge of honor in that case than a scarlet letter.
A few years ago I may have listed one of these things:
1) Trips to third world countries in order to share Jesus
2) Driving on a highway without headlights (because the headlights didn’t work and we needed to get home)
3) Trying to walk on a roof without appropriate shoes
4) Stepping on an unattached 4×8 sheet of plywood
5) Walking along on the edge of any piece of lumber
6) Numerous teenage stunts, sins, and general idiocy
But by far the most I have hit my knees in prayer, the most I have felt out of control, the most I have been afraid and unsure is in the parenting of a teenager in this culture.