There is a remarkable story in the Gospel of Mark regarding a blind man healed by Christ. The fact that Christ healed this man of his affliction is not the remarkable part. The Gospels tell us of many miracles performed by Jesus to reinforce the point that He was from God and of God, that He and the Father were one.
I am always amazed how God always answers my prayers. Always. This is a root cause of my unwavering belief in that I trust in the promises of God because I have experienced them myself on many occasions. One of the things I have learned about answered prayers is that sometimes prayers are answered in stages. In other words, the Lord needs to set a few things straight in our lives before the final blessing can be delivered. For me this has been the slow but steady progression away from selfishness, intemperance, idol worship ( i.e. materialism), dishonesty, and mistrust (i.e. trusting the wrong people). There have been building blocks over several years, lessons learned and small blessings earned. The pieces fit together like a puzzle and I now can see them building a picture of what God has always had planned for me but from where I had too often strayed. I needed to be ready to learn, ready to give up things, ready to open my heart and mind to the truth and unwavering in my faith.
Mark 8: 22-26 is instructive. The King James bible describes the story this way:
Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.” Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. Then He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.”
Here Christ is moved to cure the blind man. However notice that his first attempt at healing yields an intermediary result. The man can see, but darkly. He cannot make out all the images clearly. Then the remarkable happens, Christ touches him AGAIN and the result is a complete cure of his blindness.
What happened here? Surely God can heal in one stroke? Why two? Perhaps the man’s faith faltered when he felt the hands and mud, and he doubted. This would imply that our FAITH is a catalyst for healing (elsewhere remember Christ saying, “your faith has healed you.” ex. Matthew 9:22, Mark 10:52, etc.). Perhaps also that the depth of this man’s afflictions, the length of time he was afflicted, required a two stage process to bring healing and restoration.
In my own experience I have learned that God loves me always, yet He hears me when I come to him with unwavering faith. He also needs to work in me to bring about the desired result. He works in His time and not my time, and He often needs (in my case) a hot refining fire to help me learn from my past mistakes so that His blessings will be appreciated, enjoyed and more permanent and not wasted or taken for granted.
Back to the scripture. Notice that Christ concludes this encounter by instructing the man to avoid his old life…don’t go back to town, don’t tell anyone he knows about what happened. Was it because the man’s faith was fragile? Could his “old friends” remind him of his blindness and convince him it all never happened? Did the man need time to reflect and praise God for what had happened so he could truly understand and firm up his faith? I know that when I tell certain people of my faith and my belief that my blessings are a gift from God they shake their head and think I am losing it. Fortunately I am at the stage in a walk where my faith is not shaken by what others say or think about me.
Are you a blind man looking for healing? If so, be of strong faith, and wait on the Lord. He will hear you and come to you, and the manner and time in which He answers you will involve not just Him but you as well. His response may come in stages, not one fell swoop. Look for the signs and believe…and whatever you do, do not be shaken by the doubters around you who reject the miracles of Christ in answered prayer!
Have a blessed day and week ahead!!!