Luke 18: 35-42
Fasting. Friday fish fries. Confession. Giving up all things pleasurable. Lent. Ugh. It’s understandable why most Christians dread this season or ignore it. The negativity and darkness is steeped in the history of the Catholic Church and the religion it still desperately tries to promote. Lent is not a rigid list of do’s and don’ts until Easter. Lent isn’t about religion or flagellating ourselves for our sins.
I think Lent is about cultivating a spiritual hunger for God. To cultivate means to acquire or to apply oneself to improving or developing something. In this case, it is a deeper and more meaningful relationship with God. Like planting seeds, this process takes time and effort. As we grow in our understanding of God and learn to appreciate what He is teaching us and apply this to our lives, the activities and stuff we initially feel deprived of will pale in comparison to what we gain.
The spiritual practice that I believe God has challenged me to do is to post something new every Wednesday. What scriptures I will use, I’m still not sure, but I’m going to trust that God is going to give them to me. This forces me to actually set aside time to read and meditate on scripture and then set aside time to write, which I have not done in months. During this season, my prayer is that God will give me the spiritual eyes to see Him, just as Jesus gave literal vision to a blind man.
Ken Gire, Pastor, Bible teacher and author of “Moments With The Savior” (ZondervanPublishing House, 1998) describes the scene in Luke 18: 35-42. Jesus is on his way to Jericho, traveling by foot with his disciples and many others who were curious. On the way, a blind man shouts “Lord, son of David, have mercy on me” several times. Gire explains that the blind and destitute lived along busy travel routes hoping for handouts. No institutions or health care existed for folks in this awful position. But the blind man had heard about Jesus and was determined and desperate. So determined that he refused to let anyone silence him. He persisted in shouting out. And Jesus heard him.
The unfortunate reality today is that when we give a consistent shout out to the Lord, the world will try to silence us, either to keep us “religious” or because they simply choose not to believe. But someone out there still needs to hear the Gospel message, so we should not be discouraged. The blind man has inspired me to put forth more determination to pursue God. Jesus listened and responded to him, and I know He will do the same for me. If Jesus was to ask me, “What would you like me to do for you?” My response would be the same.
“Lord, I want to see!”
Dear Jesus, please help me see beyond myself. Help me see the needs of others. Help me to see you and feel your love more clearly during these next 40 days. Help me to see myself as you see me. Amen.