Awhile back I heard a sermon on Mark 8:22-26, which talks about Jesus healing a blind man in Bethsaida.
Like me, you’ve probably heard accounts of Jesus and His healings time and time again. And likely a lot of you think of a loved one that you pray Jesus would lay His healing hands upon – like my husband and I pray for about our son Jeffrey who has quadriplegia.
So when the pastor started talking about this passage, my mind started intently focusing – was my Father God going to speak to me about Jeffrey’s healing in a new way that morning?
The answer was: Yes … and no.
Rather than speaking on the miracle of healing, the pastor focused mostly on v. 23: “Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village.” (NLT)
Why did Jesus lead him out of town before healing him? Never thought about that before.
Of course Scripture doesn’t really explain why Jesus took the man away prior to touching his blind eyes, but the pastor stated perhaps in leading him out of town, He was not only healing this man of his eyesight, but giving this man a brand new perspective on life – in more ways than one!
The pastor stated a lot of times God pulls us out of familiar circumstances once we put our faith and trust in Him. He does this because He wants our faith to expand farther than it ever has before. In unfamiliar territory we have no idea what we should be doing, so all we can do is trust Him to direct us, step-by-step.
I found myself reflecting on that for a day or two, as I was reminded of many different times when indeed my Father pulled us out of familiarity, and placed us in a situation or location that was totally brand new.
Probably the biggest was when we found out our son Jeffrey had cerebral palsy. How were we supposed to raise a child with a disability? Yes, there were well-meaning people, doctors and many books written on the subject; but in the end we had to rely totally on God to help us.
Another big thing was when Jeffrey had in his heart that he wanted to move and attend a college in another state. How was that supposed to work? There was not just the logistics that we had to think about, but since neither Gary nor I had ever attended a university we really had no idea about all the mounds of paperwork which had to be completed. And not only for college, but also for finding health care for our son and a place for him to live where they could take care of his needs daily. All we could do was pray and trust our Lord.
And then when Gary and I decided to take the plunge and move from the west coast where we were both raised to move to Texas, where we knew absolutely no one. Where were we supposed to live – the Dallas area is huge! In the end we just had to trust that God would place us where He wanted, to fulfill His perfect plans for us in this season of our lives.
However besides all of my personal endeavors, the message that day also has made me think of Jeffrey who has chosen to continue living away from us in Arizona. He basically knows no one there, and has had to learn to trust his caregivers to keep him safe. Dad and I aren’t there to help him if something goes wrong. Could this be one reason God placed him there in basically unfamiliar territory? To help him learn that there is only One True Father who will never leave him – and that he can trust always?
Time will tell. All we can do is keep leaning on the One who knows all, and whose love far surpasses the love of anyone else.