“Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”—Mark 9:24(NIV)
Nana, have you always believed in God?” When my seven-year-old grandson asked this question, I didn’t have to reach far into the recesses of my almost 59-year-old memory for the answer. I replied, “Yes.”
I can’t recall a time when I didn’t believe in God. Growing up in southwestern Louisiana, my sister and I walked to a small church a block from our house. I seldom missed church or Sunday school and even earned pins for perfect attendance. However, I was in my late 40s when I became aware of an emptiness inside my soul that I thought nothing could fill.
When I finally cried out to God, seeking direction in my life, He answered me. Since that time, almost 11 years ago, I have been on a journey to know Him better, to trust Him more and to share with others what He has done in my life.
Although I drifted away from church during my 20s, and again in my 30s, I returned in my 40s when I realized the importance of corporate worship, spiritual growth and fellowship. However, many have turned away from organized religion and others have rejected God outright, choosing not to believe in a Creator who loves them.
A recently released poll by WIN-Gallup International revealed 13 percent of the world population now identifies themselves as convinced atheists. This number is up from a 2005 poll that cited 4 percent of people as not believing in God.
More than 50,000 people from 39 nations were asked, “Irrespective of whether you attend a place of worship or not, would you say you are a religious person, not a religious person, or a convinced atheist?”
I often wonder why people choose not to believe in God. While we can’t see Him, neither can we see the electricity coming into our homes. We flip the switch, expecting the bulbs to illuminate the room. While we can’t just flip a switch and expect to see God, we can see Him at work in our lives, if we only believe.
Mark 9 tells us that Jesus is asked to heal a demon-possessed boy after His disciples fail to do so. Not pleased, Jesus rebukes them for their “little faith.” It was not the first time He had chided the 12 for their lack of faith. He asks the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
The father replies, “From childhood. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
Jesus replies. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately, the boy’s father exclaims, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
When Jesus commands the demons to leave the boy, healing is immediate.
While God has not always answered my prayers, nor answered them instantly, He has brought healing in my life, my family’s lives and the lives of friends. I know my Heavenly Father exists. He is still in the healing business and cares about every aspect of our lives.
After a 30-year teaching career, Carol Round found redirection as a Christian columnist, author and inspirational speaker. She is the author of nine books, all available at Amazon.com. See her website at www.carolaround.com for more information.