Monday, February 2, 2015

Healing Day!

We've always celebrated major holidays and birthdays. Yaacov and I started dating and were married in summertime. So why on earth did Groundhog's Day skyrocket to the top of my favorite days' list? It's the anniversary of the day we learned about my healing!!! The third anniversary, in fact! It was such a perfect reminder of the Lord's gracious, precious love for me! And of His love for Yaacov and our girls! 

Every thing about that day was perfect. I have goosebumps remembering when I got to call so many people to tell them I was healed. And to think how much I wanted to keep the whole illness a secret at the beginning. I don't even like talking on the phone, but God put it on my heart so I had prayed and begged for such an opportunity. It was hard to keep it together enough to get the words out. And the next day...the next day!!! I went to pick Abi's preschool, all the teachers and staff had heard the news and ran into the hallway to applaud. That was one of the first times anyone had ever clapped for me. It would normally be embarrassing, but it was joyous and precious. How many people have ever gotten a terminal diagnosis that resulted in an entire preschool cheering for God? How many people have ever been worthy of a blessing like that? Only Jesus. 

Revelation 5:12 Saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”

Sweet, sweet Jesus. The sinless lamb. The perfect one, who died for my sins and loves me anyway. He intercedes for me and has blessed me more than He was blessed on earth. Sure, He was loved deeply and worshipped, but He was still abandoned and betrayed without just cause. And I complain about a few unanswered prayers.

I spent the day with the girls, reminiscing about the highs and lows. This year felt extra meaningful because Naomi is the age now that Abi was when I was diagnosed. It's like I'm living it again, but with the joy flowing more easily this time around. There are other similarities, too. I remember how Naomi stopped sleeping through the night when I was diagnosed, and every day at 2 am she would cry until I rocked her. She would sleep on my shoulder while I cried. Every night. After cancer I got her to sleep through the night again, but now we are working on nighttime potty training. In the middle of each night I wake her up and carry her on that same shoulder to the bathroom. The conditions now are completely different, but every time she rests her sleepy head on my shoulder for the walk down the hall, all the emotions come flooding back. My cup overflows. My joy is complete.

Psalm 23:5-6
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

It seems like all my posts lately have been lamenting tragedy and heartache. My foolish flesh observes worldly devastation and wonders aloud where God is. Why He stopped caring. It's written evidence of my own short sighted selfishness. How quick I am to forget! How weak my faith is to wonder. And to wander. He hasn't left us. He doesn't change. He didn't reach His quota of miracles and move on to punishing the world. The same God who healed me is still alive. His word is true. And truth is in the word. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. 

Ecclesiastes 3:14 I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him.

I'm including pictures this time around. The first is Abi and me when we found out I was healed, 2/2/12. I couldn't find the digital file so it's from our scrapbook:
We tried to re-create the 2012 pic today so I'm in the same outfit, and Naomi is wearing the shirt Abi had on that day. Clearly there are some other inconsistencies but it's still sweet:
The others are just fun:

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Keep on keeping on

Some traveling missionaries from a different religion just came by the house to "turn us" their way. Whenever that happens we offer the story of my supernatural healing as a testimony of our deep faith in the One True Son of God. And, whenever that happens, the missionaries smile, say a few nice words, then become awkwardly silent. Every time.

People of all faiths have praised the Lord for doing this work in me year after year, I witness it all the time. But there's something about people who show up at my house on mission to convert me from my "false doctrine" that keeps them from seeing His glory in it. I want to tell them that their lack of appreciation for what He's done is the single most telling sign that the Holy Spirit does not dwell within them. I will try harder to pray for their ears to be truly opened so that one day we can fully discuss it and praise the Lord the way He deserves.

Romans 5:2-5 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

He deserves praise for what He did for me when He cast the cancer out of my body. But He also deserves praise for making the sun rise today. For blessing me with children, no matter how frustrating they can be. For providing the money to buy food. For being there when no one else is. For forgiving every single sin I have ever committed. For knowing the bad, ugly, evil thoughts that fester within me, and the real condition of my heart, and loving me anyway. But as I get wrapped up in my minor problems and feel suffocated, angry, fearful, battered, or alone, I don't remember the sunrise. I am burdened by the kids. The bank account is too low. I don't recognize His presence. 

The gospel message is SO SIMPLE, why is it SO HARD to live out? Going back to the Old Testament, there were only 10 Commandments. Ten simple laws, that spawned numerous iterations because the people couldn't distinguish between the black and white. No matter how many experts weighed in on what the laws meant, people kept breaking them. Day after day. Finally, the Lord sent His only son, who was fully God and fully man, to live as a sinless, perfect sacrifice to atone for all the sins we would ever commit. Jesus abolished the law with His death on the cross. Now we have no law, and still we can't behave. I can't even make it through breakfast without feeling sorry for myself. By lunch I have judged everyone I've interacted with. By dinner I've spent more time complaining to or about God than praising and petitioning Him put together. And it isn't until after dinner that I really let loose. Right before bed the guilt sets in and I start confessing my sin and planning what a great person I'll be tomorrow.

1 Peter 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

This stuff isn't easy. If it was, we wouldn't need a thousand pages of the Bible. We wouldn't have to read, "do not be discouraged", because life would be so easy we wouldn't be tempted to lose heart. And we wouldn't dare to cast our cares on Him and receive the relief that comes from trusting in the Holy Spirit instead of ourselves. 

2 Corinthians 4:16-18  So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

If you're feeling like a failure, know that you aren't alone. If you can't think of anything to praise God for, thank Him that Swarna had been told her cancer returned, but she trusted in Him and the Pet scan came back clear. Praise Him for having mercy on Mindy, who did not know Him before her diagnosis, but proclaimed His name before she passed away. Praise Him because His promises are true and His mercies are new each day. He might not have answered you yesterday, but that doesn't mean He won't do it today. Keep praising, keep praying, keep reading His promises. 

Romans 15:13  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Oceans and Agony

I wonder what Paul's third heaven is (2 Corinthians 12:2). I feel like I'm caught up between worlds myself. I'm looking out, not really part of this one, but the other one I'm floating in so vague and unclear. I'm pretty sure the other place I'm stuck in isn't a heaven of any sort though...

I talk and write about Him from my scarlet viewpoint. I'm a worthless, double-minded, forgetful sinner, looking up to the One who Knows. The One (the ONLY ONE) who sees my empty pockets and the filthy rags I cover myself with. But when I lift my eyes to Him He meets my gaze and smiles. He scoops me up with both arms, because it is not the things I can offer, but my self that He wants. He doesn't ask where I've been, but receives me with joy! 

His love is true. His Word is true. His Son is real and His testimony does not change. He made the heavens and the earth. He created life out of nothing, and continues to do that each day. He gives us days and numbers them. He gives and takes away, and He heals our broken hearts and our broken bodies. 

His love knows no bounds, so why does it tarry so? Three of our beloved sisters who were once healed are now suffering with their original disease. One is too many! Where is our Rescuer right now? The enemy wreaks havoc and evidence of his destruction is all around, like an untouchable villain on the war path... while the unanswered prayers of the saints plead in unison as a soundtrack of this tragic story. This is a great opportunity for them to grow in their faith, I know. It is a special privilege for us to persevere in prayer, yes. God will not allow anyone who trusts in Him to be put to shame (Ps 95:1-3), true. But it is impossible to go on with the same confidence when you were once testifying about His healing and then the cancer comes back. The natural thing for all of us to do when we are re-diagnosed (or it recurs/spreads, depending) is to quit. Quit boasting of the Holy Spirit's power. Don't dare to ask for and expect another miracle; We remember that God numbers our days and agree with the doctors that that number is small. It is easiest to accept it and thank Him for the good days we had. Because it took every fiber of our being to beg for healing, to believe it, to rejoice in it, to live life as a healed person, to testify about our healing, and then to get the bad news. How can we face the naysayers who never  believed in the first place? How do we quiet the mocking whispers that taunt, "It was all a sham. You were never healed. Your 'God' never healed you." Or, if we continue to stand strong with the truth of the original healing we remember, "I never knew anyone else who was healed even once, twice could never happen.". So we crawl under the covers. We hide our pain, embarrassment, and cover our shame with makeup and smiles. But our questions and doubts continually plague us until we water down our faith with weak, political sounding niceties that leave no doubt that the miracles we experienced will be rarely remembered, the once vibrant testimony and faith we had dissolve.

I think of the Tennyson quote, "'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." In my flesh I think the opposite is true for healing. It feels like it would be better for all of us to have never been healed at all than to go through the agony of having been healed and then "lose" it. But somewhere in the depths of my dark, wounded soul, as I struggle to crawl back to the foot of the cross, I find the truth: It is better for these ladies to have been healed, to experience the faith-building freedom from such a huge answered prayer, yet to struggle with the disease again, than it is to have never experienced that at all. It changes us. It's incomprehensible. It allows us to "know" Him in a way that we could never get to before. And it provides an incomparable testimony that glorifies Him and continues to spread long after we are around. Moreover, it is better to have been healed because it was His decision. He has the plan, He did it, and His way really is the best way. It will strengthen their faith in some way to deal with their new problems, whether it is to enjoy as He heals them again, or to be dealt with in other ways. And finally, it may be true that it is impossible to go on after a bombshell like this, but the truth will ALWAYS remain: "All things that are impossible with men are possible with God." (Luke 18:27, that was on the cake we ate to celebrate my own healing, by the way).

So, what more is there to say? John 10:27-28, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand." The Rescuer came before, and He will come again. We don't know when. Maybe it will be today. Please pray for the power of the perfect Holy Spirit to show Himself within these women's bodies. Pray for their faith, strength, and total healing.

I might have posted this before. It's my favorite song. I thought I was the only one who had discovered it, but I guess when I was in my lala land it was released to the rest of the world. Anyway, the hyperlink will take you to the song itself. I wonder if anyone could really hear this song and not be moved. Like, lock yourself in a dark room with no distractions, close your eyes and listen to it, and if you aren't moved, send me a detailed note so I can try to understand.

Oceans by Hillsong United

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise my soul will rest in your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and you won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

Sunday, December 21, 2014

More than a comforter

The Lord is our comforter. The prince of peace. He creates a tranquil calm in the midst of storms that transcends all our human understanding. Holy is He who casts out all fear and soothes our souls! 
2 Cor 1:4, " [He] who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

So, we find out someone is sick and we comfort them the way He has comforted us in the past. We hear about a struggle and we pray for His will to be done, that they would know the supernaturally perfect peace of the Savior. And we move on. Mission accomplished, right?

Maybe not. Maybe praying, hoping, even striving for comfort is a great intention but...maybe stopping there is among the deeply insulting ways we fall short in loving God. We must love Him and His people bravely and deeply, bolstered by the power of the Holy Spirit, who calls us to speak the truth, and be doers of the Word. 

If you and your children were trapped in a car as it fell into a lake, would you want an onlooker to pray for your comfort? To call out "boldly", "Peace, my peace I leave you!" My heart aches just thinking of the cowardice that would display. The sad reality of how often that happens. Remember, when we do things for others, we are doing them for Him and through Him. God's is not a coward. Jesus was not a coward, the Holy Spirit is no coward. This is how He came: "And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each of them" (Acts 1:2-3). That is the same Holy Spirit who dwells within every baptized believer! Would someone who valued that Holy Spirit and His power watch the car plunge through the depths of a watery grave and begin to mourn before the car was fully submerged? 

Of course not. So why do we learn bad news from men and immediately jump to platitudes and peace offerings? Do not misunderstand me. Peace is amazing, and it is the opposite of fear, which we should call on the Lord to quench at all costs. But, peace is just one of the limitless perfect blessings the Lord will bring to us. Not through manmade objects, positive thinking, or will power, but through true faith in Him. He tells us time and again to pray, pray, pray. "The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working" (James 5:16). The parable of the persistent widow taught us to always pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1-8). "Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7) Then do it again. And again. "And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him." (1 John 5:14-15). 

The bolder the prayer, the more faith it takes to pray it. It's hard, sometimes impossible, to pray for impossible things. But if things were possible with men we wouldn't need to pray. We wouldn't need a hero...but we do need one, and we have Him! He came, freely, to save us, it's already been done! The blessings that come from Him answering impossible, faith-filled prayers are so much greater than whatever He did to answer it. It is for His glory, and not for our own. So no man can boast, we pray and seek this Mighty God who does so much more than comfort us. He heals, loves, empowers, gives, and takes away. Let's treat Him and His people like they are worth the risk of acting boldly and expecting mighty results!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Prayerful Life

Well, the Lord is at work again! Just when I think He's doing something different, He brings me back into this prayerful lifestyle. He has revolutionized my prayers and is working quickly. I'll be praying and hear my voice pray for a random thought that comes to mind, and then He answers it right away. It's happened several times in the past few weeks. I prayed about whether to keep (or, restart) writing, and He showed me Isaiah 12:4, "Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name, make known among the nations what He has done, and proclaim that His name is exalted". Then, I prayed for more opportunities to share what He has done, and three different people who I know from this blog contacted me for prayer. All within one day. So, I get it that He wants me to pray and blog, so that there will be more people to pray for. And that He wants to keep using me to exalt His perfect name.

2 Samuel 22:47, "The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation"

What? It probably shouldn't be that exciting or surprising to me that He wants to keep using me, but He never fails to amaze me. I am so irrelevant, unimpressive, unfaithful...but He calls me anyway.
He put things in my heart--in all our hearts-- just to show He's there. The miracle He blessed me with wasn't a one-time deal, but was just a moment that opened my eyes to this world where the Creator reigns so powerfully that the scientific laws--and common sense-- do not prevail. Hail to this God whose love knows no bounds, mercy never fails, grace is limitless, and whose sacrifices are unmatched! He IS good, when the money is in the bank, kids are behaving, work is fruitful and doctor reports are clear. He IS good, when the storms come, the money disappears, the loved ones are unlovable, or the diagnosis or prognosis worsens. When man's report provides no hope, He is always good.

"Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?" Isaiah 53:1

I forget His goodness often, and revert to feeling sorry for myself and the minor problems I struggle with. I'm struggling with minor health problems related to either my thyroid or the Arimidex I'm taking. The more I pray about them, the more He reminds me of people with real problems. I keep hearing how the flu is going around, but it seems to me that cancer is going around. I don't always know exactly how to pray for these people. I know God could heal any and all of them, but the most important part is really the spiritual healing we all need. So I just start with the fear and pain caused by their physical circumstances and wait on the Holy Spirit to move my prayers from there.

2 Thess 1:11, "To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work by faith of His power"

One girl, Amanda, is my age, and I don't know the back story, but she was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2008 (around age 29 I think), and it's come back multiple times since then. We went to high school together and the clearest thing I remember is that everyone said she would be the first female president. It's not too late for that! But, I've noticed many people send her "positive thoughts" and other nice intentions. But I think interceding for her, to the One who can do something about her health, is the most valuable gift we could give. I also am praying for a local woman named Julie, who is seeking the Lord as she fights stage 4 breast cancer. She believes He will heal her and has already found many sweet blessings from the Lord through this. I call those "love notes" because they are so personal and dear to us. Ioa is another woman, who just finished treatment for breast cancer, and then they found cancer in the lining of her brain! That feels like an extra-large test to me. ALL cancer patients have at least a moment of fear that the cancer will come back or isn't really gone. Even if you're so faithful you cast it out quickly, it still crosses through your brain a time or two. And this is the worst one. She was probably counting down the days to finish treatment, then trying not to panic when her head kept aching. And the doctors couldn't find anything at first, so she probably second guessed herself and now knows she can't always count on her doctors. Anyway, she is undergoing radiation on her brain now and is believing in the Lord for a total healing. Please pray for her mental and physical healing and support during this traumatic time. Finally, Lyn was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and is currently figuring out what type of treatment to go through. This is such a hard time for anyone with such a diagnosis. It's nearly impossible to focus on the joy of Christmas, and spending focused time with your loved ones, when you are still reeling from the diagnosis. And you don't know what God would have you do for treatment, or even really how to pray and hear from Him amidst the turmoil, fear, outside opinions, and chaos of the holidays. I can't help but think back to the Christmas of 2011 when we went through that. It makes me dizzy and a little nauseas, even though I know how my own turned out!

Mark 9:23, "All things are possible for one whom believes"

Please pray for these women with the joy of one called to work for Him. Praying doesn't require much from us, but can open more doors than money, fame, or force. Luke 16:10 says "he who can be trusted with little will be trusted with much." So, we do our part by praying, especially for those He puts heavily on our hearts. I think when the Holy Spirit really tugs at your heartstrings about someone (or something), it could He is specifically calling you, entrusted you with, to expectation pray for her. He can answer the prayers for big things as easily as those for little ones, and does so to increase our faith, and His glory. What a privilege to commune with Him, and to intercede for the underdog!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Petscher's Week of Gratitude

My spirit is deeply moved with gratitude and a deep longing to please the Lord. It's been three years since The Diagnosis. I was miraculously healed more than 2.5 years ago, yet I still haven't been able to express words that truly convey my appreciation for that gift.

When I think back to this time in 2011, my heart still races and I lose my breath. The day before Thanksgiving I met Dr. Rassam and he first told us I was dying. When I replay all the events, good and bad, that I've experienced since then I'm awestruck and humbled that He cares so much about me. I didn't deserve to be healed, but He did that and continues to carry me along this journey of sanctification. And I'm a bit gutted that I still have so far to go before being truly sanctified, or set apart and holy for Him.

‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets" (Matthew 22, 37-40).

Over the past few months the Holy Spirit has been urging me to set apart a time specifically to focus on Him. He finally motivated me to do so in a variety of ways until I could not put it off any longer. Now that we are committed I am really looking forward to it. Yaacov, the girls, and I are going to take this week leading up to Thanksgiving and set it apart as a time of gratitude for the Lord. It's sort of like a lifestyle fast I suppose. There will be some exceptions because we had already committed to attending some events, but in general we are streamlining everything. We will live off primarily "needs" instead of "wants". The girls will have a few books and toys to hold onto, but the rest will be off-limits. We will only use phones and other electronics for work or as truly needed, and we will alternate through 3 outfits. We won't have treats, extra outings, snacks, tv or music, and the meals will be simpler than usual. Maybe we will turn the furnace off but I'm not sure. If others have done things like this, please comment with how yours went! Hopefully we will become much more focused on the Lord and blessing His people, and much less focused on ourselves and our fleshly desires. 

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6)
We are not doing this to become more worthy of the Lord's love. We will not be earning a place in heaven or anything. It's just to get back to what's important and to appreciate the many blessings He bestows on us for what they are--unmerited grace! 

Titus 3:4-7, "But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."

Monday, October 27, 2014

Real Faith

This time last year I was praying for people with the confidence of knowing that all I prayed for were healed or at least whose conditions didn't worsen. I'm not exaggerating. When God healed me He left me with a powerful faith and, I suppose, ordained my steps to come in contact with those He wanted to heal. Maybe He was protecting me from seeing the sad side while He strengthened and prepared me for that. Either way, it sure is easy to believe your prayers matter when He answers them all.

It's a lot harder to pray with serious, passionate faith when you know it might not matter. You might look like an idiot. They might die anyway. You might have given someone false hope or become a stumbling block. You wonder if you overstated God. Maybe they'll blame you for getting the miracle they would have preferred to go to someone else. All people of faith likely encounter at least one of these issues, even if it doesn't bother them like it does me.

I've told you before how lonely it can be as a miracle recipient. Your friends are in (appropriate) awe of what He did for you, but few can relate. The enemy doesn't stop attacking just because God's hand touched us so perfectly, and we don't magically turn into superstars of faith who need only a moment of prayer to face hard times. We mira-cured (yup, I just created a word, like it? As in "miracle" and "cured" combined. How many believers do you think it would take to share the good news about His miracles to get that word used into mainstream use?) struggle with fears that the miracle will come "untrue/undone" in some way, or that something worse will happen that overshadows the goodness. Some of us feel so shocked about having been mira-cured that we "know" God wouldn't give us another awesome miracle down the road. When pondering this today, I realized I'm in that camp. If something really bad happened to me, my immediate response would not be, "Wow, what a great opportunity to commune with God! I can't wait to see how He fixes it this time!". Nope. If I got really bad news again I would paste a smile on my face (like I always do, what's that about? I start thanking every staff member profusely, and apologize for taking up space), and by the time I got to my car I would have my whole funeral planned.

I do not say this as a prophecy, just as an embarrassing truth. I decided it's better to face now than to have to learn the lesson the hard way. Because the tragedy of that scenario wouldn't be that I died, but that I lost faith, which is the primary requirement for glorifying God. The lesson shouldn't be that God maxes out on miracles. It should be that our faith is ever-growing and stretching. Despite what we know about people dying. No matter how many times we have prayed and seen the opposite of what we're asking for happen, we must try again. We will not grow weary of doing good. We will not fall away and lean on our own understanding when times are tough. We will not discount God because it's easier to use human terms and expectations. It was true yesterday that all things that are impossible with men are possible with God. And tomorrow, the same will be true.

In Mark 9:14-29 there is an awesome story about a man whose son was possessed with an evil spirit. The disciples had the authority to cast it out, but even though they did tons of great works, they could not cast it out. Did the man go home and complain about the wasted trip? Nope. He took his son to the leaders and asked Jesus for help. Did he have faith that Jesus would heal him? Not much. He said to Jesus, "If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us" (v. 22).

So, this guy wasn't certain Jesus would or could fix it, but he was desperate enough to stick around.
Jesus didn't hesitate. He was like, "IF you can!" Can't you hear the indignation there? The man should have had faith, because he knew enough about Jesus to bring the boy there in the first place! But, like me, this guy struggled a bit. The man responded, "I believe; help my unbelief!" Think about that. He said he believed, but acknowledged the difficulty. He knew that Jesus could help his unbelief in the first place. It seems weird, to ask the guy you want to believe in for help believing in Him. But he was being honest. It's hard stuff. I'm sure his faith had been destroyed bit by bit when each disciple had failed at their attempts to cast the demon out.

Eventually Jesus cast it out and the disciples were confused about why they couldn't do it themselves. Jesus said that kind had to be driven out by prayer (many versions say 'and fasting'). Maybe if the disciples could do endless works without stumbling they would have gotten big heads. Maybe their training was sort of like my year of everyone being healed. And no matter what your equivalent of that training time is, it's on to the next phase and we all have to step it up a notch. Pray more. Fast more. Focus more on God, His kingdom, righteousness, and sovereignty, and less on how we can pray and intervene on behalf of other people.

Romans 8:5, "Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires"