A father once created a considerable stir when he went seeking help for his son. His son’s troubles were beyond what the father could fix. He was frustrated and walked his son outside looking for someone he thought could help. A crowd quickly gathered around the child and parent. The dad began to beg for anyone who could help his son. He was at his wits-end. He knew there was nothing more he could do.
His son was dumb.
Not dumb intellectually but dumb in speech. He couldn’t talk.
I experienced something similar this week.
While I was in my office, a parent came in and asked if I could help a struggling family. Their son had begun to disappear instead of going to school. The boy had become rebellious and was even starting to hit his parents. It sounded serious.
Where should a family go for advice in a crisis?
In my position as a children’s pastor I get asked to help in challenging situations. You see…I am a pastor and I have raised three flawless daughters and have never had any trouble with my children. (I may have fudged the truth just a little in the last sentence. I am a pastor but my daughters are just a bit short of flawless. The instruction book got misplaced each time we brought our children home from the hospital. My daughters are great but as a parent I can be as helpless as the father in the first story.)
Back to the story:
The father was actually looking for Jesus who was busy elsewhere. He found some of the disciples and begged them to help. That part sounds like my situation. Parents ask me to help and I’m sometimes no more helpful than the disciples. The disciples couldn’t solve the boy’s problem. His problem was much deeper than a speech issue.
He had a demon.
Thank God our parenting challenges don’t reach that level but the lessons from this story screams for parents to pay special attention to the points Jesus makes.
Jesus was the answer then and he still is.
- In Mark 9:19 Jesus exhorts the crowd. Where is your faith? We can’t raise our kids with five no-fail parenting rules. Those don’t exist. Our biggest need is faith in Jesus.
- Then the child is brought to Jesus. We should make that our habit, early and often.
- In the 23rd verse Jesus tells the dad help is possible.
- Jesus asks the man, “Do you believe?”
- The broken man began to cry. He admitted his faith was small. He asked for more.
- Jesus immediately healed the son and increased the man’s faith.
- In verse 28 the disciples ask a question, “Why couldn’t we help the boy?”
- Jesus told them that some things require prayer and fasting.
When we need help with our kids, do we fast?
How often do we bring our children to the throne of God in our prayers? I don’t mean to complain about them, but pray for them, and seek their greatest good from the only One who can solve any problem?
Father, please forgive me for not bringing my children to you every day.
Please teach me to pray; and to fast whenever the need is great.
I ask that you will bring peace to the family of the son who is in rebellion
and the many other sons and daughters who need your help to find their way.
Increase my faith and the faith of the parents
who come to you in tears begging for the help only you can bring.
Thank you for answers to the prayers of broken parents who love their children.
In Jesus Name I pray as a broken parent begging for more faith.
Thank you Father.
By Doug Drake
Husband to Debbie
Dad of three
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Youth and Children’s Ministry Pastor at Living Water Bible Church