It is a difficult thing to discern God's will for our lives, when our lives themselves are full of questions. Why do loved ones have to die? Why does healing sometimes come via death? Why do companies have lay-offs at the most inopportune of times? What will happen to this person, that person, this child, that child? Why?
There's this passage in the Bible that also creates a lot of questions. "They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, 'Do you see anything?'
"He looked up and said, 'I see people; they look like trees walking around.' Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly." [Mark 8:22-25]
This passage has been resonating with me lately. It is just full of questions: Why did Jesus take the blind man outside of the village for the healing? Why did Jesus spit on the man's eyes when He could have just touched him, spoke the healing into being, or put mud on the man's eyes with instructions for a bath after? He had done all those types of healings before...why the spitting? Why did Jesus, Who had raised people from the dead with just words have to touch the man twice for him to regain his sight?
My family and I are going through a very difficult time right now...dealing with my husband's paraplegia, my son's autism, school for the youngest, general young adult issues with the middle two. I've been battling a deep depression lately, and trying to prune areas of my life that aren't glorifying to God or don't directly benefit my family. It is very difficult to discern God's will in all these things.
Yet (and I love how Jesus uses the word "yet" to mean Glory and Victory instead of defeat)... yet...."He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village..." Why outside the village? Going through the trials that my family and I are facing, I understand what this means....sometimes we are thrust headlong into a situation that we otherwise would not choose. My husband did not choose to be shot in the back...yet...here we are, in the throes of a lifelong situation that we did not choose to be in. Outside the village. I did not choose to have back surgery three times in 10 years, but they were necessitated by herniated disks...outside the village. How many times do we have to go through a fire for which we did not put flame to kindle?
Yet...God can always use these "outside the village" moments when we trust Him. Often times we will not trust or obey unless forced...like Jonah who found himself in the whale after turning tail and running away from God, only to be puked up on the beach like a bad piece of krill. It was then that Jonah obeyed. Outside the village...
So Jesus has the blind man outside the village and spits on his eyes not once but twice....Let's look at the first vision recovery...after Jesus spits and rubs and asks the man if he sees anything, the man looks around and says, "I see people; they look like trees walking around." You almost see Jesus' grin when the blind man says that.
We are so tempted, when Jesus is working on our lives, to stop Him halfway, aren't we? We get to the point that this man came to....not blind...with definitely better vision...but not completely where Jesus wanted him. So many times we stop Jesus short of where He wants us, saying, "Oh I'm better now!" and we jump up from the dirt on the ground and run around, saying "Jesus healed me!" But He wasn't finished.
It wasn't that Jesus had to spit and rub twice to get this man's vision back...He had performed countless Making-the-Blind-See miracles before this. Jesus was wanting to see if the man was willing to have the faith and patience to sit there for a minute longer for Jesus to give him complete restoration.
This brings to another point: the man had faith that Jesus was still there while He was working. So many times we go through trials and we think, "Oh Jesus is working here," only to doubt when things get fuzzy and we can't see clearly. Jesus is still working, whether we see Him or not. We may see trials and tribulations as big fuzzy trees, overpowering us and walking around -- it is at these times we sit back, be patient, and wait for Jesus to complete the work.
Blind faith...blind faith is a call for trusting God when we see Him working and when we don't, knowing full well that the blind man did not see Jesus but he most assuredly heard Him spitting and felt His precious fingers touching his eyes. We as followers of Christ need to recognize that we may not actively feel Him working in our lives but He is, nonetheless. Faith is not about feeling -- it's about trusting. Trusting in the promises of Christ as outlined in Scripture -- not as fleeting and momentary feelings that will fail us.
Jesus is working a healing within our family -- it may not mean my husband can walk this side of heaven, but it does mean that he will walk on the other side of heaven. It may mean that we have to be patient and wait on the Lord, for His timing. When we trust Him with the big picture, the little puzzle pieces of our lives fit so much better.
(C) 2017 Terrie McKee
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