Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Help My Unbelief

Imagine that you want to run a marathon for the first time. You send in your registration and on the morning of the event you put on your tennis shoes, meet at the starting line, and run the 26.2 miles.

There is a joke in the field of First Responders. Whenever you take any kind of first aid class there will always be a "knife in the back scenario". CPR requires the victim to be on his back so the rescuer can do chest compressions. You, as a first responder, are not supposed to remove impaled objects, such as knives. Every class I have ever been to. In every class my husband has ever attended or taught, there is always some student who asks, "But how can I lay the victim on their back if they have a knife stuck in their back and I'm not supposed to take it out?" Keep in mind that the reason you would be doing CPR is if the person's heart has stopped beating, and is actually dead. Of course you take the knife out so you can do CPR. Which is more important at that time, that you try to get their heart to beat again or that you might damage some tissue from taking out the knife?

We have a friend in the building/constructing business. There is a line of sequence of some kind. Even though the purpose of the line has been permanently etched into my brain, I can never remember what it's called! You can tell me in the comments if you know what it is. I'm sure I'll forget it again though. The line takes you from the start of the project to the end. Usually you are on a deadline and you want to get things done quickly. But you have to stay in a certain order. You cannot put up your roof until you have the walls. You can't put up your walls until the foundation is laid, etc. Some of it is common sense, just like the "knife in the back."  But there is so much more to it, too. Certain things you can do while you wait for the electrician. There are certain things you can do before x, but have to wait to do until after y.

The point is that there is a certain order to things. And when we go outside of that order, trouble ensues.

I read a Bible passage this morning that affected me in a new way.

2 Peter 1:5-9
 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
If you can picture a ladder with the bottom rung being faith, the second rung would be goodness, then knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, love. Love would be the top rung. I don't know if that is how I am supposed to be reading it. It just occurred to me this morning, that maybe these really are in this order specifically because they do not work as well out of order.

I have been praying for increased love for a few people I do not know very well. Well, love is at the very end of this little ladder.  I've also been praying DESPERATELY for self-control.  And perseverance is something that is lacking greatly in my life, so even a little bit of that would be appreciated.  But am I trying to run a marathon without training first? Am I letting a victim die because I'm not taking out that knife to do CPR? Am I all out of order when it comes to building that house?

I am thinking this morning that Faith is the first step. So today I am praying, Lord, increase my faith. Help my unbelief.

Mark 9:21-24
There was a boy who was having convulsions, rolling around, and foaming at the mouth. 
21 Jesus asked the boy’s father,  “How long has he been like this?”   “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
   23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
(I don't know why that first line is highlighted. Please ignore it since I can't seem to fix it.)


  1. I saw your inquiry earlier on Facebook about the passage from Mark. I sensed what seemed to me to be the almost divine inspiration that can spontaneously derive from something so simple, that is so hard to find when one's mind is so cluttered. I think I'm trying to overreach. Time to step away from the computer and do something mindless and inspiring, like mow the lawn and help my mother get ready to move.

  2. John, sounds like a great plan! I have been pretty cluttered lately. Mind, activities, house stuffs, school things.... I've been thinking this morning that it might be time to really concentrate on getting back to the basics. Not sure what that will look like yet. But even the idea of it has calmed my spirit somewhat.

  3. Hmmmm....I am a general contractors daughter and I still don't know what that line is called. lol Shame on me. Nice post, a good reminder to keep things in order. :)

    1. Thanks, Cheri. It's your dad I got that line thing from... whatever it's called. LOL