Jesus replied, “You stubborn, faithless people! How long must I be with you until you believe? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” - Matthew 17:17
Have you ever been to a wonderful retreat and had a “mountaintop” experience? But the time then came to return to earth! It’s different in the valley, isn’t it? We often meet weak Christians who are waiting for us to be strong. They want us to fix all the problems they should be able to handle themselves (Matthew 17:16). Jesus had been on the mountain with his heavenly Father, having literally a “glorious time.” But at the foot of the mountain was a demon-possessed boy, and Jesus’ own followers “couldn’t heal him” (Matthew 17:16). Hence his frustration. The disciples couldn’t help a parent in pain, and they couldn’t rescue a child being torn apart by destructive forces. Surely they were as frustrated as Jesus was!
But notice that Jesus didn’t let frustration keep him from meeting needs. He helped the distraught father and he healed the demon-possessed boy (Matthew 17:18). Then he began, again, to patiently train his twelve disciples (Matthew 17:20). Jesus explained that “this kind can be cast out only by prayer” (Mark 9:29). Somehow the disciples had lost their focus. They were spiritually unprepared for the work that Jesus had called them to do.
What will it take for us to please Jesus instead of frustrating him? We should spend time in prayer (Mark 9:29)—in other words, focusing on Christ. Then we’ll be prepared for all that he has called us to do, and the people waiting for us in the valley will not be disappointed.
For Further Study: Matthew 17:14-20
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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