Observations – October 2003

Posted by on Oct 27, 2003 in Observations

  1. Tears.
    Tears, the soft rain that makes the seed of hope grow into a lively plant of courage. It may take time.
  2. Whose Fault.
    Seeing the blind man sitting by the road (John 9:1-39) created the question, “Whose fault is it?” We have a choice to pretend we don’t see the blind man and walk away from him and his need, or else, if we face him, we may want to justify our indolence by blaming him or his parents. Jesus said “whose fault” is not the issue. The question is a question for everyone, not a question for him. The question is, “What are you doing to help this man so that he is well and God is glorified?”
    Slow Miracles of Maturity. God is much more interested in the process than the product. God watches the choir rehearsal more than He listens to the Sunday presentation. He is much more interested in maturing us than He is in healing us. God carefully picked a blind man (born that way) (John 9) because He knew he was a man of character. Jesus could have healed him instantly, painlessly but he chose to make it difficult, painful and prolonged. He rubbed gritty, bacteria laden mud, made from spit and dirt, on his eyes (not eyelids). Then Jesus told him to take a hike and find some water to wash it out. As he went along this man must have wondered just as you have, “Why don’t you heal me quick and simple, Jesus? I know you can. Why are you making me it so hard for me?” I believe Jesus would have said to the man as He says to all of us, “Because I want you to grow up.” After all, who wants whiny, immature friends? The trial of his painful and prolonged healing brought a man of strength to even greater strength. He is one of two men in the Bible who publicly defended Jesus. Accosted by the religious leaders of his day, he said, “I know two things. I was blind and now I see. I know He is a prophet.” The other man who defended Jesus was the man on the cross, and he defended Him against not only his fellow criminal but the crowds beneath Jesus, “Why do you say terrible things about Jesus? He is a good man.”

    People want quick gentle solutions to their pain and problems. Jesus wants friends, mature friends, and He knows that people will mature if they walk with Him through the crisis. .

  3. Honesty.
    If a person can examine themselves, then they can know and see others as they should be seen. If a man can fully look into his own eyes, heart and mind, he can look into the eyes of any person. He can truly see them if he dares to see himself.
  4. Healing.
    My new friend John, the young forestry engineer with a wife and two small children, was dying of a horrible cancer. I asked the church to pray for his healing. They prayed earnestly, but John quickly died. Did God heal him? Yes indeed. God healed him (kept his body alive) for approximately six months. It was time enough for him to learn more about Christ, to mature as a Christian, to spend time with his children skiing and at Disney World. And then John painfully died. Not fair, God. Remember this, God’s healing of our bodies is always temporary. We all eventually die. Even the miracles of healing and raising from the dead that Jesus performed were only temporary. Those people all died. Our perspective is so warped by seeing our experience from our sense of time that we forget it’s a split second compared to eternity.

    You may say it’s not fair that gracious, fun-loving, Jesus-worshipping John got cancer and died so young and so painfully while some miserable people live on and on. Some people are born into wealthy families and some into poverty; some into countries with freedom and others with oppression. It’s not fair, God. Certainly not from our perspective of time. Although God created an amazingly beautiful and intriguing world, He doesn’t want us primarily to enjoy this life, He wants us to mature. In this brief period of time, like in a uterus, He forces us to mature so He can have interesting people to talk to for eternity.