My basketball coach stretched a single rubber band until it broke, then two, then three. When he got to four and five, he could no longer break them. He handed a rubber band to each of us to wear as a team. The old school coach’s adage demonstrated that an individual could easily fail, but together, it was harder to break. Some players still wear ordinary rubber bands while many have opted for bands with imprinted messages, but the premise is the same, there is strength in numbers.
A recent conversation with a friend brought to light some deep-seated scars she hid well. Making contact brought up painful memories of the past, ancient demons that gripped her heartstrings and haunted her sleep. Jesus’ disciples faced similar demons yet could not drive them out.
Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly, I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:19-20 NIV
I certainly do not have the faith of those who physically walked with Jesus and I feared my “command of expulsion” would result in the demons’ laughter at my feeble attempts. My lack of faith weighed heavily and I retreated. The thought of asking for help with prayer relying on the faith of others would only reveal my weakness. Yet Jesus said, “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed … Nothing will be impossible for you.”
A dear friend and spiritual mentor said we all struggle with doubt especially when we stand against Goliaths alone. Relying on the faith of others benefits us more than we suppose.
Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” Luke 5:18-20 – NIV
The faith and action of the friends carried the crippled man to the feet of Jesus and he was healed because of THEIR faith. Asking others to pray does not negate my prayers but adds to them and the need to lean on others increases my faith, not in just my beliefs but knowing God surrounds me with those that can make me stronger.
A point guard cannot succeed without a strong center to rebound in case of a miss and a post needs a shooting guard to pass to when the lane is too crowded to be effective. All members of a team moving in the same direction with a common goal. Each rubber band is strong in its own right yet still fallible; however, together they are unbreakable.
Lord, help me seek out the “rubber bands” in my life, that together we may be a stronger tool for Your use, that Your will be done and that You may be Glorified.