“People will always let you down,” my friend concluded, looking away from me and out the window. A pit started growing in my stomach as I confusedly asked, “Is that your way of letting me down easy? Are you saying that I shouldn’t count on you?”
I expected him to say yes. I sat there prepared to run to Jesus because my heart could sense hurt approaching.
But then my friend turned back with such a determined expression that I thought I offended him. “No,” he said slowly, “I’m saying you can always count on me.” And I believed him.
A month following that conversation, you-know-what hit the fan and permanently changed our friendship. Good news though: Jesus saved it so we could forgive each other and move on.
But for longer than I care to admit, I thought of that declaration in the darkness of my car with disappointment. Because after walking with Christ for over a year at the time, I thought I should have known better than to believe I could always count on a friend. I should have ran to Jesus that first night. I should not have grown attached. I should not have been surprised when he went back on his word. Why? Because people will always let you down – and I should have known better.
If you have a habit of lying awake at night for weeks on end, wondering why you’re still an imperfect little someone with shaky faith, can I speak some truth to you?
Mark 9:17-25 tells the story of a father who brings his possessed son to Jesus. He asks Jesus ‘if He can do anything’ then please help, and He responds with, “‘if I can’? Everything is possible for one who believes.” Some versions record the father dropping to his knees as he cries out, “I do believe! Help me in my unbelief!” And then Jesus calls out the unclean spirit, restoring their family.
Friend, Jesus didn’t save the possessed boy because he or his father had perfect faith. He just saved him – it’s kind of His thing. When we don’t ask or think so, there’s the challenge to believe He won’t let us down because He’s shown countless times what He can do.
So yeah, my friend proved his own statement right: people will always let you down. They disappoint us and we let that sin mess with our hearts. They promise and fail, inviting us to question who will deliver what we crave. We develop unbelief and stay up late wondering.
Good news though: Jesus saves.