"If Thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us" (Mark 9:22).
That is our condition when we are in the valley; we do not know God, we are full of scepticism. The great point of our life with God, and of our service for Him in the world is that we get the scepticism rooted out of us, and it takes the valley of humiliation to root it out. Look back at your own experience and you will find that until you learned Who Jesus Christ was, you were a cunning sceptic about His power. When you were on the mount you could believe anything, because it was in accordance with the selfishness of your nature, but what about the time when you were up against facts in the valley, up against questions which could not be answered? You may be perfectly able to give a testimony to sanctification, but what about the thing that is a humiliation to you? If you are without something that is a humiliation to you, I question whether you have ever come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We are called to fellowship with His sufferings, and some of the greatest suffering lies in remaining powerless where He remained powerless. Had our Lord been a man, He would have healed the boy at first, but He waited until the father was in the last ebb of despair "If Thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us." Am I patient enough in my faith in Jesus Christ to allow people to get to the last ebb of despair before they see what He can do? We step in in a thousand and one ways God never tells us to; we say we cannot bear to see God appear cruel, but God has to appear cruel from our standpoint. As disciples of Jesus we have to learn not only what Our Lord is like on the Mount of Transfiguration, but what He is like in the valley of humiliation, where everything is giving the lie to His power, where the disciples are powerless, and where He is not doing anything.
-excerpted from The Love of God by Oswald Chambers