Time moves so quickly when life is full of activity. We hustle to work. We get kids to school and various practices and rehearsals. Weekends fill quickly with soccer games, basketball tournaments, and so much more. All of these activities are fun and exciting, but I wonder what effect that busyness and the need to perform have on our spiritual lives.
Throughout Scripture, people reveal their human desire to perform. In Matthew 17:14-21 Jesus encounters a concerned father who pleads for his son to be healed of debilitating seizures. Jesus’ disciples had been unable to heal the boy, but Jesus of course had no problem. Consequently, the disciples ask Jesus why they had failed. Jesus offers a simple answer, “because of your little faith” (ESV).
The gospels are filled with accounts of Jesus performing miraculous healings. In Mark 1:21-34 Jesus heals a man with an “unclean spirit,” a woman afflicted with fever, and many others throughout Capernaum who were suffering from sickness. Then, in Mark 1:35 we read that “rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed” (ESV).
Too often I read these passages and feel pressure to change the world because Jesus did—as if Jesus needs my busy efforts to accomplish his redeeming work.
The disciples could not heal the man’s son in Matthew because they did not have enough faith. In the midst of performing miraculous healing in Mark, Jesus takes time to go to a desolate place, alone, to pray. These actions by Jesus remind me that the pressure is off. I don’t need to perform for Jesus. I simply need to have faith and be available. It’s an amazing truth that God doesn’t need us, but God chooses to use us in the work of accomplishing his redemption.