Today's Gospel: Matthew 17:14-20
Back in Chapter 10 of the book of Matthew, Jesus commissioned the twelve apostles. After giving them the authority to drive out unclean spirits and cure every disease and illness, He sent them forth to do His Father's work.
Day in and day out, for seven chapters, they apparently did well. That is, until they come to the boy with the demon. Suddenly, they can't seem to carry out their mission and expel the demon. Not understanding why, they approach Jesus for the answer.
We all get to the point where the disciples got. We live our lives, day in and day out, completing the work set in front of us: raising our children, earning a living, trying to make the world a better place.
But then it happens: that insurmountable obstacle gets thrown in our path. No matter how hard we try, we can't seem to overcome it. We lose confidence in ourselves, and we're left feeling defeated, like the disciples.
It isn't until we approach Jesus in private prayer that we realize our mistake: we have "miss-placed" our faith. We have taken it away from God, and have placed it in ourselves. Having coasted through the easy times, we've fooled ourselves into believing that we have everything under control.
Having faith in only ourselves will always leave us faltering when a demon of a challenge comes our way. When we correct our mistake, and put our faith back in God, no matter how small that faith is, He will move mountains on our behalf.
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Am I guilty of putting faith in myself when I face a problem, rather than putting it in God? When I do, does that lead to success, or failure?
God, help me to remember You are the rock I am supposed to build my life on, not myself. When I have forgotten, and things seem to keep going wrong, bring me back to You.
Copyright 2017 Claire McGarry
About the Author
Claire McGarry is the author of the Lenten devotional "With Our Savior," published by Creative Communications for the Family/Bayard, Inc. and Grace in Tension: Discover Peace with Martha and Mary, to be published by Our Sunday Visitor in the fall of 2021. Her freelance work has appeared in various Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Focus on the Family magazine, Catechist magazine, These Days devotional, and Keys for Kids devotional. The founder of MOSAIC of Faith, a ministry with several different programs for mothers and children, she blogs at Shifting My Perspective.