TUESDAY, MAY 21
“Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
Mark 9:24 (ESV)
FLYING THE TRAPEZE: THE DOUBTER
Not long before his death, Henri Nouwen wrote a book called Sabbatical Journeys, in which he wrote about some friends of his who were trapeze artists, called the Flying Roudellas. They told Nouwen that there is a special relationship between the flyer and the catcher on the trapeze. This relationship is governed by important rules, such as “The flyer is the one who lets go, and the catcher is the one who catches.” As the flyer swings on the trapeze high above the crowd, the moment comes when he must let go. He flings his body out in mid-air. His job is to keep flying and wait for the strong hands of the catcher to take hold of him at just the right moment. One of the Flying Roudellas told Nouwen, “The flyer must never try to catch the catcher.” The flyer’s job is to wait in absolute trust. The catcher will catch him, but he must wait.
On Sunday, Pastor Mike described one of the options during life’s transitions is to doubt. In the gospel of Mark 9:24, a father with a sick child expresses the tension many of us struggle with at times. Jesus asked the father if he believed and the father responded by crying out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” God wants us to be honest with our doubts and struggles but He also wants us to bring those doubts to Him. Jesus honors this father’s imperfect faith and heals his son.
If we use Nouwen’s analogy of the “flyer” and the “catcher,” we are the flyers and God is the catcher. It’s our job to simply trust God to do the catching. We leap out in faith and wait for God to catch us. Nouwen said, “Waiting is a period of learning. The longer we wait, the more we hear about Him for whom we are waiting.” Waiting is not a static state, it is a time when God is working behind the scenes, and the primary focus of His work is on us.
Is there an area of your life right now where you are struggling with doubt? If so, admit your doubts to the Lord and ask God what He may be wanting to teach you in this season of waiting and struggling.