Still thinking of the father of the demon-possessed boy. We don't know how old his son was but let's say the boy was about 18. Jesus asked how long the boy was sick. The man said since he was a child. The man had to endure past all the old memories, past all the theologians who were more concerned with their spiritual rightness, past kind-hearted would-be healers that failed.
I think of the woman who touched the hem of Jesus' garment. She had to keep enduring even past her own self-loathing, past the rejection of her own God who in her own religion called her unclean. She had to endure being poor. She had forgotten what it was like to be well.
The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong. God's grace is perfected in weakness. The Gospel is preached to the poor and to the lowly. Someone who once knew what a glorious life was can always remember what life was like. So he can aim for that old life again. But the man with the demon-possessed boy could not remember his boy ever being well. He had to endure past that unseen, past that impossibility...to trust God. It's easy to endure and believe and run the race when you have some inkling of what the answered prayer might look like (because you have some experience of it) But to endure when you don't know what your healed boy would look like....well, that is endurance. -C
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