It's amazing how God just brings the right verse into focus at the exact moment we need it. For those unfamiliar with the context of this verse there was a man who had a boy who was possessed by a demon. The boy had seizures it sounds like since birth, he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, gets thrown to the ground and becomes rigid. The man wanted the disciples to drive the demon out (heal the boy) but they could not and he didn't understand why. The man was talking to Jesus about the boy and said, "If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us." Jesus responded: '"If you can?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for one who believes."' The man then responded that he did believe and Jesus drove out the demon. When the disciples asked Jesus later why they couldn't drive out the demon, He said this type could only be driven out by prayer.
So how does this relate to us? I've been saying the word "If" more often then I can remember with regards to missionary work. I've felt called to go overseas and work as a missionary for a long long time and the "If" word continues to float around: "If God allows us." "If it's His will", "If we are able", "If we get these things done". As you can see...there are a lot of Ifs in there. Instead of just writing IF, I need to start writing WHEN. God is all powerful and has a plan for us. We are unsure of the exact plan, but instead of writing IF all the time, we need to have faith and replace it with WHEN. That sounds like a simple change, but that simple change brings along with it a great mindset of belief. It's not a matter of IF something is going to happen, but WHEN.
The other part of that passage that struck me was the part about prayer. Sometimes there are obstacles in our way that we cannot see. We think that we can do things apart from Christ to change it ourselves. But, there is power in prayer. We need to get on our knees and ask God for what we need. Ask God to take away obstacles and to show us where we should go. Sometimes those obstacles can only be removed by prayer. I think we forget that often. It's good to remember!
So with stronger faith in our hearts we are continuing to pray more frequently and change our mindset from the "If" to the "When" mindset. When God allows us on the mission field. When God provides for us. When God brings along relationships. When God works in our lives. No more if words, it's time to believe. :)
Okay my baby is up. I might elaborate this more later...but duty calls!