Featured Friday Guest Blogger: Tracy Steel, author of, Images of His Beauty
One of my favorite NT passages is Mark 9:14-29. In it we read about a distraught father and a disappointed crowd. They wanted a healing; not the Healer. The Disciples tried to heal the demon possessed child, and failed. So the crowds rushed Jesus, thirsty for another miracle. Knowing this, Jesus turned His attention upon the desperate father. Their brief encounter led to this:
“Immediately, the father of the child cried out and said, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’ ” (Mark 9:23-24 ESV)
The father’s request changed everything. Jesus heard and responded. Evil lost its grip once again, and a son was set free.
Am I Much Different?
I look at the disciples and people mentioned throughout the Gospel accounts and wonder: how can they not understand who Jesus is? Why isn’t being in His presence simply enough?
However, am I—a modern disciple of Jesus Christ—much different?
Despite my weighty study Bible, stacks of Bible studies, commentaries, and Christian CDs—I can still struggle with who I am in Christ. Why is this? I think it is because instead of thirsting for a word, I need to be thirsting for the WORD.
Now hear me clearly, when I wrote “a word” above, in no way am I denying the necessity or power of the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16). I believe that we must meditate and feast on Scripture daily. I am not negating Bible studies, Christian music, mentoring, Christian books, or Sunday sermons either. They play an important part in equipping and maturing us. But at some point, we have to stop and just be with God in His presence. At some point I have to turn the music off, put down my Bible highlighter, and look into the face of my Savior and say: I believe, please help my unbelief!
I need to cry out to Him and say:
“I know your Word says I am fearfully and wonderfully made, help my unbelief! Help me to receive and display your beauty to the world around me even though I don’t feel beautiful…”
“I know your Word says that you will never leave or forsake me, help my unbelief! Help me believe and receive your love and comfort even though no one else seems to notice me…”
“I know your Word says that you created me to do good works for your glory. Please help my unbelief! Help me to be patient for your timing and to believe that you will equip me to do_____, though I fear rejection or criticism…”
And so on.
But perhaps you have called out to God for help already. Yet you continue to struggle.
Are you holding onto past pains that keep you from moving forward? Bring them out into the light and ask the Holy Spirit to help you forgive those who verbally or emotionally hurt you, and brought you to a place of dark despair.
Has Satan or the media and their lies about the supposed source of true beauty and significance taken up residence in your mind? Then renew your mind with God’s Word. (Romans 12:1-2) Keep watch over your heart and mind. Pray again and again. Wait for God. He will respond, evil will lose its grip, and you will be set free.
We have direct access to Jesus just like the father in Mark chapter 9. It was enough for him. Is Jesus enough for you? The more you enjoy Jesus, the more you will enjoy being you, His beloved.
I know this to be true, because this post is part of my testimony. I have also struggled with my self esteem and with how my body is made. I know the sting of rejection, and have had to embrace failed dreams. I have been in the pit, but was not created to stay there. Neither were you…
Precious one, you are made in His image. You are not an eating disorder or a mistake. You are His beloved son and daughter. I know that life is hard, but it is not hopeless. Jesus died on a cross and rose from the grave on the third day to ensure that this is so. He is your answer. He is your cure. No matter what you choose to do next, I pray that you will cling to Jesus for the rest of your life.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 NIV
If you struggle with depression, an eating disorder, or self image/esteem issues, please go and seek help from your Pastor or a Christian Counselor. Do not remain isolated, or believe that it is best to keep your struggle a secret.
Over the past several years, Tracy has had the pleasure of ministering to countless young women with this same message. More of her heart can be found in her newly released Bible study, Images of His Beauty.