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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Today’s Reading | Mark 10:46–52

They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way. (NRSV)

I’m not sure the current world is a “faith-friendly” place. For every human act I witness that restores my faith, I count ten that make me shake my head at people for where desperation leads them. We are taught to protect ourselves first, trust no one; keep our hearts and wallets closed; our eyes averted, or we get hurt. Faith is a risk.

What do I risk by having faith in God and his plan? Some days are better than others. I wake up with hope and curiosity in God’s plan for me. I start goal-setting and feel motivated and confident that I can change things and improve myself. And then there are most days, when every idea, dream, or solution I form is shot down or cut short by life’s obstacles, the naysayers, daily obligations, and my personal insecurities.

Having faith is hard work for me. I can’t just put it out there like Bartimaeus, the blind beggar in Mark 10! But hey, I think to myself, more power to him! That’s just not easy for me. He was blind, had nothing but the clothes on his back and the ridicule of the townspeople to confirm what he probably felt about himself—that he was the fool to blame for his miserable state and a fool to lay his life before Jesus.

But he cried out to Jesus anyway, and Jesus restored his sight. It’s as simple as that. Faith is simple. So why do I make it so hard? My fear starts with all the little things: “God doesn’t have time to care about my issues; God has bigger things to worry about.” But I know that’s not true.

When I really dig deep, I realize that the real reason behind my struggle with faith is my fear of being disappointed. Not just disappointed—I have experienced disappointment plenty of times and survived—but the idea that God could let me down. That’s just too much for me. What would that do to my relationship with God if my faith in God wasn’t rewarded? Better to play it safe by saving my faith in God for the “sure things.” But Mark’s words won’t leave me. They are a clear message to me to put my faith in God for the big and little things in order to receive all the joy God has planned for me. God’s message in Mark 10 is crystal clear. With my life open and faithful to God, anything is possible.

Lord, you are always with me, protecting me, even when my faith in you falters. Help me to look to you in every aspect of my life, not just the little things. Help me to work through my fear and have more faith in you. Amen.

Written by Patty Donmoyer, Receptionist

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