John 9:1-7 — As Jesus went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
In John 9:1-7 Jesus goes over to a blind man without being asked, and then He spits into the dust and makes some mud paste, which He rubs onto the man’s eyes. (Imagine someone praying for your healing and doing something like this.) The blind man feels the fingers of the teacher on his eyes as the crowd looks on in wonder.
What’s the Miracle Maker going to do?
And then … Nothing happens.
Jesus just tells the man to go wash the mud off in a pool called Siloam.
The crowd must have walked away feeling disappointed, but what about the blind man? Jesus didn’t even tell him that he would be healed. He just told him to wash his eyes, which I imagine he wanted to do anyway.
The thing that really gets me is the man’s trip to the pool. I don’t know if someone guided him or if he just stumbled through the crowd asking for directions, but either way, he wasn’t healed yet.
Many of us feel like that blind man at that point in the story. We’re in desperate need and we haven’t gotten our miracle yet. And in response, Jesus gives us a command that often seems as pointless as washing our face in a pool: Remain persistent in prayer, even when God doesn’t come through, “and do not lose heart” (Luke 18:1-8).
That in-between time is hard for us to bear though. We have to live with our unanswered prayers and blindly find the way to our own pool of Siloam without even getting a promise from Jesus as to what will happen.
Our journey to the pool is so much longer than it was for the blind man, but it does not have to be a hopeless one. Though we stumble forward in the dark, we can press on with the same hope he had. If Jesus told us to keep asking and praying for our own miracle, we can trust that it’s for a purpose — that He will eventually open our eyes to what He was up to all along.
–Joshua Rogers, June 14, 2017 blog
Joseph waited 13 years. Abraham waited 25 years. Moses waited 40 years. Jesus waited 30 years. If God is making you wait, you are in good company.
“Our willingness to wait reveals the value we place on what we’re waiting for.”
O Lord, by all your dealings with us, let us be brought closer to you– whether by joy or by pain, by light or by darkness. Let us judge no treatment of your grace simply because it makes us happy or because it makes us sad, because it gives us or denies us what we want; but may all that you send us bring us nearer to you; that knowing your perfectness, we may be sure in every disappointment you are still loving us, and in every darkness you are still enlightening us; just as in his death you gave life to your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
–Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), Episcopal bishop of Massachusetts