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Will Anything Do?

“So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to him.And when he had come near, he asked him, saying, “What do you want me to do for you?”He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.” 
Luke 18:40-41, NKJV

A blind beggar sat beside the road near Jericho. When he heard people approaching, he was told, “Jesus is passing by.” The beggar cried out to him for mercy, but those accompanying Jesus said, “Be quiet.” The blind man was desperate. He was not about to let the one able to heal him pass by. He hollered even louder. Jesus stopped. He stood still and asked for the blind man to be brought to him. When others reached out to lead him, the beggar dropped his outer garment and ran to Jesus.

“What do you want me to do for you?”  Jesus asked.

“Lord, I want to see.” 

He spoke. “Receive your sight. Your faith has made you well.”

Immediately, the blind man could see. He followed Jesus out of the city glorifying God. Those that witnessed the miracle glorified him too.

What a beautiful account of our compassionate Savior. Yet, when reading the story, I thought it odd that Jesus stood still. Wouldn’t it have been easier for everyone, if he’d simply walked over and healed the blind man?

I’ve lived through times of extended trials when I’ve wanted to pound my fist and say, “Jesus, don’t just stand there—do something.” Perhaps, you’ve had those moments too.

Our daughter has Down syndrome. While growing up, she was outgoing and talkative, but around the age of twenty-six, her personality changed. She became despondent and withdrawn. No one in the medical community had answers for us—only educated guesses and an abundance of medications which worsened her condition.

We held out hope for years that our daughter would return to her previous self. “Why are you standing there, Jesus? Why don’t you do something?” We live with a new normal now. Jesus didn’t move as we had hoped, but he did move.

We’re grateful our daughter is no longer despondent. By God’s loving mercy and grace, she’s happy—without the aid of medications. She still talks very little and seldom initiates conversation. Not because she can’t. She simply chooses not to. When there’s something she needs or wants, she prefers to point. That’s when we insist, “Use your words.”

So why does Jesus stand still? Perhaps, so we’ll see our need for his mercy. It’s in times of desperation that we exhibit a profound faith in his ability to meet our needs, drop all that hinders, and run to his side.

Jesus asks, “What is it you want me to do for you?” 

Don’t let him pass by. Use your words. If Jesus doesn’t give you what you want, I can assure you, he’ll give you something far better. He’ll give you what you need. Now that’s a reason to praise him.

Go ahead. Don’t just stand there. Use your words.

Blessings,

Starr

Judge Not!

“Do not judge others, so that God will not judge you, for God will judge you in the same way you judge others, and He will apply to you the same rules you apply to others”.
Matthew 7:1-2 GNT

As I rounded the corner while on my morning walk in the neighborhood, a car came barreling out of its driveway like a crazy person. Another car had just turned onto the street, saw the car, and stopped, patiently waiting for the speedy car to go on its way. My first thoughts were, “How rude! Man, they need to slow down before someone gets hurt! Some people care about nothing but themselves driving like that in this subdivision!”

The rushing car, with dark tinted windows, sped down the street and was gone. It all happened so fast; I couldn’t tell you who was in the car, how many were in the car, what they looked like, nothing. All I know is that I heaped lots of judgmental and critical thoughts upon them for a few seconds.

The waiting car proceeded on its way, and suddenly I felt the prick of the Holy Spirit in my heart. The driver had chosen to be kind and thoughtful to the rushing individual. No obscene gestures or look of disgust were made as they slowly drove by me. In fact, they had exhibited the loving character of Christ in their actions.

I felt ashamed of my critical feelings. What did I know about the scenario? Absolutely nothing. The person in a hurry may have overslept and was running late for work. Maybe someone was ill and needed medical attention. What if there had just been a heated argument, or worse yet, abuse of some kind, and the driver needed to flee? What if they were just being careless and thoughtless? Either way, it was not my place to judge. It was my place to show the love of Jesus without condemnation. I had failed.

As I continued my pace, all kind of thoughts filled my head. How would I have wanted others to treat me if I had been the hasty driver? What good had it done me to make assumptions and judgments that were unjustified? Why did I have those opinions in the first place?

The rest of my walk consisted of humble confession and quiet contemplation of my actions. I had learned a valuable lesson about not judging. What an amazing God we serve who loves us unconditionally, knows our hearts better than we know it ourselves, and is quick to forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. He alone is the great Judge and transformer of our hearts and minds. [Digging deeper – Matthew 7:1-5, 12; Romans 2:1-3, 12:21, 14:10-13; 1 Peter 2:23]

Walking free of judgment,

Beverly <><

Photo Credit: free public domain photo

Living for His Present Glory

“Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing? But NOW be strong…” 
Haggai 2:3-4A (NIV)

When my family and I get together we love to reminisce over wonderful memories from the past. We had a Dalmatian dog that my brother and I would run races against, my sister and I laugh at the games we used to play in the car on road trips, and my grandpa used to own a forty-foot sailboat on Lake Michigan that would occupy our summer weekends. Oh, the good ol’ days. That’s how the returned exiles felt coming back to the land of Israel after their Babylonian captivity. After they completed building a new temple for the Lord the older generation wailed in anguish for the glory of Solomon’s temple that had been destroyed by the Babylonians. They longed for the splendor and ease of the past.

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in how the Lord has worked through us in the past; we live off our testimony that occurred years earlier. Or we get stuck dreaming of the future: what we can do for God when the kids finally go off to school, when we finally retire or when the all-consuming time commitment we are currently involved in ends. But that’s not God’s will for us! He gives us testimonies in our past to encourage us in the here and now trials of life. He gives us dreams for the future to give us intentionality with how we use our spare time presently. But if all we do is live in the past or future, nothing will get accomplished NOW. The point of the book of Haggai is to inspire Israel to be faithful to God in their current condition despite unmet expectations. God wants us to live for His glory NOW! He wants us to go and make disciples today, He wants us to be His light to our co-workers now, He wants us to cherish every hug and cuddle from our children today! As the saying goes: Carpe Diem! Seize the day! Today only happens once. Don’t let it pass you by. Let’s live for His glory today and do so in the power of His Holy Spirit.

God bless,

Noree Wegmeyer

 

 

 

Photo Credit: https://www.freeimages.com/photo/sunrise-1362773