“…the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus….thus says Cyrus…all the kingdoms of the earth, the Lord God has given me….” Ezra 1:2

“Do not be afraid; only believe”  Mark 5:36

“Immediately the father..cried out and said with tears: ‘Lord I believe, help my unbelief ! ‘” Mark 9:24

Cause and effect, systems thinking, 2+2=4, we have many ways and many constructs to make sense of this baffling world around us.  These constructs seemingly help the world to understand the processes that govern actions and bring order to chaos.  Yet like any construction there can be a limiting factor if we limit ourselves to what we’ve constructed.  Imagine constructing a house from the inside out and not putting in a door; how would experience the greater world? Or not put in windows; how would we be aware of a greater existence beyond our four walls?

Jeremiah writes a letter to the people if Israel telling them because of their unbelief and turning their back on God, they were going to be taken away to Babylon in captivity.  There they would stay for 70 years as punishment, but then they would return.  Indeed the people were taken away.  And while in Babylon, there were those like Danial who repented and prayed for deliverance.  Yet year and year it did not come.  Nebuchadnezzar seemed to become even more powerful.  It sure would have seemed that the people of Israel should plan on permanent residence in Babylon.  Going home wasn’t going to happen.  Enter Cyrus, King of Persia, who conquers Babylon.  Cyrus was not a practicing Jew.  He was not circumcised into the faith.  It makes no difference to God; for God can and will use all things to bring about His plan.  God puts it into the heart of Cyrus to return the people to Jerusalem and have them rebuild the temple.  Thy will be done.

Imagine your child is very sick.  You are a person of means so you’ve called on doctors but to no avail, your daughter is just getting sicker.  None of the earthly means open to you seem to be doing any good.  Your wealth is worthless, your education is of no value, your determination for her to get better is an empty effort.  In desperation you plan to go find a healer that says the He is the Son of God.  But you’re too late.  That’s what happen to Jarius, a wealthy Jew in the time that Jesus was on this earth.  He was a leader of the synagog so surely he should have had the means to make his daughter well.  Yet in everything he tried, there was only failure.  So in desperation, Jarius strikes out to find Jesus.  He finds Jesus and makes his request and it appears that Jesus is going to come to his aid.  Then, he witnesses Jesus heal a lady who has been sick for twelve years, surely his daughter who has been sick for just days can be cured.  Jarius must have been elated! However, the word comes, Jarius daughter is dead.  He is too late.  Nothing can happen.  Nothing stops Jesus Christ, not even death.  Jesus scoffs at the report and says a simple thing to Jarius (simple but not easy), do not be afraid only believe.  Jesus goes to the child and heals her.  Thy will be done.

Another man has a child who has been very ill for a long time.  He has heard about Jesus and brings his child to him; but Jesus is not there.  Jesus’ disciples try in vain to heal the child, but the condition grips the child even right there where the disciples are.  Jesus then arrives and tells the man if he will only believe, his child will be healed.  And the man then cries out in a cry that is so human, so humble; a cry that echoes down through the ages even into my own heart:  “I believe, Lord help my unbelief!” Jesus heals the child.  Thy will be done.

You see dear sisters and brothers, the world has come to a place and time where it believes that there is a human built, human understood solution to anything.  Want to be healthy; follow this diet.  Want to be financially successful, follow this method.  Want to be romantically fulfilled; go to this website.  Want to………all you need do is this.  An inevitably when those systems, those methods, those processes fail, instead of humbly turning to the Perfect God, with All Power and All Wisdom, Every Ability to bless us and by His Grace bring us to the promised land He intended, the world just tries to come up with a new solution on its own.

Jesus made it clear, not only in the samples listed above but in virtually every healing, it is faith, it is believing that comes first.  The world has it backwards when it states: let me see it, then I’ll believe it.  Jesus Christ states, first you must believe in the Creator God.  First you must believe that the ability of God is never constrained by anything.  You must believe that God loves you so much that He would send His One and Only Son to die for you, to wash away your sins so that you may live with Him.  You must believe that there is no can’t when it comes to God’s Will.

Finally, as that father’s excruciating cry tells us, we must have help in our unbelief.  For to rely on our own ability to believe is to fall far short of the doubtless faith needed to connect to God’s omnipotent power.  We must humble ourselves and call upon the Holy Spirit to live in our hearts; to strengthen and infuse our imperfect ability to believe with His assured, perfect belief.  It is through the Holy Spirit, in the Name of Jesus Christ that we can make our petitions known to our Heavenly Father with the strength of belief that His Will be done.  Let it be that we all pull off those destructive chains of can’t and clothe ourselves in the fear extinguishing faith of His Will.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we humbly proclaim that You are the All Powerful Creator God.  We not only cry out for but also believe in this day today, Thy will be done.  Forgive us when we believe in worldly processes or worldly solutions instead of coming to You.  Pour out Your Holy Spirit on us to perfect our limited belief into a more perfect life transforming belief. We pray this in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen