“What do you you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. Mark 10:51
As Jesus and his disciples are leaving Jericho, a blind man named Bartimaeus shouts for Jesus to help him. He does not relent despite the crowds hushing him. Even more, he calls out to Jesus for mercy. Jesus stops and calls for him. The very people who’d shushed him must have led him before the Lord. He cannot see Jesus. I imagine him standing there awkwardly and in expectation of a miracle. Then comes the question that stills my heart. “What do you want me to do for you?” Bart wants to see. Because of Jesus’s power and Bart’s faith, his eyes are opened! His first sight…his Savior, full of joy and compassion and power! A Bible study leader asked us a few years back to close our eyes and imagine Jesus looking down at us, cupping our chin in his hands and asking this very same question: What do you want me to do for you? My instant response was healing for my dad who’s battled Multiple Sclerosis for 26 years. Then my heart ached as I imagined Jesus still gazing at me. My dad is still sick, despite decades of prayers. My second response: Jesus, I want your comfort, your peace, your healing of this ache that lumps in my throat, and for the ability to trust you when I don’t like your response. I wish it were always as simple as it was in Mark 10, but Jesus continues to meet me in my heart ache. How would you answer Jesus today if he lifted your chin to his eyes and asked you to share your biggest desire? Sometimes the process of the conversation reveals the depths of our heart’s needs.
Jesus, thank you for knowing our hearts, for knowing what we need, and yet asking us anyway. Lord, we pray that you’d help us to stand before you honestly and ask for our deepest desire. Guide us in our response to your answer. Thank you that you pour out compassion on us. Thank you for meeting us in this place of vulnerable need. Increase our faith to believe you as Bartimaeus did.
With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and fight our battles. 2 Chronicles 32:8
King Hezekiah is one of the good kings of Judah who follows God’s way and destroys the alters and high places of false gods. The king of Assyria lays siege to the city of Jerusalem during Hezekiah’s reign. Hezekiah quickly sets to work, diligently getting the city ready for battle. When he assembles all his leaders and soldiers, he speaks these works to them. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him.” Sound familiar? Again and again, we are reminded in the Old Testament that God fights his people’s battles. He is the one who brings the victory to his people, despite absurd odds. The people are told to have courage when their eyes scanned the vast army and fear crept in. The King of Assyria only has the strength of people on his side, but God is on the side of Judah! As the siege continues, the Assyrians fling insult after insult at God and try their best to terrify the people. Hezekiah and Isaiah pray together and the Lord answers mightily! The Word says that God sent and angel and annihilated all the fighting men, officers, and leaders of the Assyrian army. The king returns home in disgrace. God brought peace to Hezekiah and Judah. What can we take away from this story for our lives? Let’s be like Hezekiah and walk uprightly before the Lord. Let’s do the work before us…preparing for battle…and when life gets tough, let’s hit our knees together. Let’s cry out to our powerful Father to bring victory!
Lord, thank you that you are with us. In the struggles we face daily, we need you. Help us to walk rightly with you as Hezekiah did and to come to you first when trouble hits. Father, in you we have power greater than any enemy. Grow our faith to see that victory rests solely in your hands, not our own. Thank you for being with us always.
Hi. I'm Maggie. Current hats: Wife, mom, artist and starting this week, a devotional writer! Enthusiastic, creative, focused. I love chai tea lattes, and authentic conversations.