I am dancer. Well, not exactly. I have danced in my church worship service for several years, but I do not have any formal dance training - just the desire to express my adoration and appreciation to the Lord in physical movement. Nothing brings me closer to the Lord than dance. And while I may not be the most beautiful dancer, I feel the Lord’s pleasure when I dance for His glory.
Now my sister, Bethany, on the other hand...there’s a beautiful dancer! It’s in her soul, and it just comes out of her in an incredible rush of energy and exuberance that is completely captivating! Today’s love letter is for my sister.
I imagine I am not the only person who struggles to trust the Lord when life gets so hard that the weight of it is almost too much to bear. I appreciate very much the father in Mark 9:17-27 (NLT) whose son was tormented by a demon that would cause the boy to throw himself into the fire or into water. The father pleads with Jesus to heal his little boy in verse 21, “Have mercy and help us, if you can.” I can just imagine Jesus reaction - “If I can? What do you mean, IF I CAN? Do you not know who I am and the power that I have to heal?” But He simply and lovingly says to the man in verse 23, “Anything is possible if a person believes.” The father’s response is raw and honest - you can almost hear the desperation and frustration from years of struggle in his answer, “I do believe, but help my unbelief.” (verse 24) Oh, how I relate to this feeling! I want to believe - with all my heart I want to believe, but I am still struggling Lord! Please don’t hold it against me! I do trust you, it’s just that what I feel and what I see are two different things, and it is so hard to keep trusting!
In His infinite mercy and grace, Jesus heals the boy, despite the father’s failure to completely trust - to completely believe. In fact, I think another miracle here is that this father’s faith was increased that day by the Author and Finisher of his faith.
When I was very sick, I confess that I had similar discussions with the Lord every day. It would start with begging, pleading for the Lord’s healing. Then He would gently ask me, “Do you trust me?” In defiant hope I would declare, “Yes, Lord, I trust you!” But five minutes later I would find myself wallowing in fear and doubt. Confessing to Lord my weakness, I would proclaim, “Help my unbelief!”
At a time when this struggle was repeated several times a day - sometimes several times an hour - my beautiful sister came to me. The Lord had told her to dance over me a song proclaiming the healing power of God. I stood with feelings of desperation in the middle of her kitchen as she danced around me and over me to the song, “My Healer” sung by Kari Jobe. This may seem strange to some of you, but I tell you that it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life! A repeated line in song says, “I trust in You, I trust in You!” Bethany instructed me to reach up to the Lord as I sang those words and figuratively grab ahold of His hand. As I raised my hands one at a time and in my spirit grasped his hand, something broke inside me. The physical expression of my trust in my Healer led to a breakthrough in my spirit and soul. From that point on, when my hope and faith would waiver, I would stand wherever I was - in my room, my kitchen, my shower - and reach up to grab the hand of the Lord and declare, “I trust You, Lord - help me to trust You!”
That gift of defiant hope that Bethany gave me that day is like a picture in a scrapbook that I pull out regularly when I need to remember to trust! I can never fully express my appreciation to her.