‘Purposing Change’ Meditations: 1. Thinking about Change
Mk 10:51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
In a previous series we focused on prayer – watching and waiting. However (and this doesn’t annul that) for a while now I have the feeling that the Lord wants to bring change – today – through you and me. This is not so much the revival or renewal of the church, more a case of Him wanting to do stuff in and through His people. We are, after all, called to be lights to the world (Mt 5:14) and the salt of the earth (Mt 5:13). Perhaps there will be changes that He will bring in and through us as part of preparing the way or maybe even as we reach out He will use these things to start bringing renewal.
For some of us we’ve yearned for change – perhaps in us, in our loved ones, in….. whatever. So, can we focus on how Jesus might want to bring that change using us? Jesus challenged the blind man with what seems an obvious question but it’s saying, “How big is your faith in me? Can I change the impossible?” Well, can he?
We don’t like change (well most of us don’t!) and yet perhaps a further truth is that if we think about it, there really ARE things we’d like to see changed. We’d like to see changes in ourselves, or our loved ones saved, our prodigals return, our work place become godly, and so on. So why don’t we do things to change these? The answer may be that we have tried but nothing changed, we have spoken but our words have been rejected. So do we give up? May I very gently suggest, no.
What I sense should be the primary purpose of this particular series is that we slowly and surely look at this whole subject, perhaps see it as a project that with God’s help we can work on. We will think about the possibility of change coming, what it requires of us, how we can prepare the ground, how we can start making small steps of faith. Sometimes we want a magic wand being waved so it all happens immediately but that is not how Jesus went about training and preparing his disciples. It took time – three years of time, and then it needed the coming of the Day of Pentecost to energize them and get them out into the streets and in a state to cope with the coming opposition. No, it was a long-term project. Now I don’t want to put you off, but suppose it takes two years to bring about some of these changes. Yes, it may take a much shorter time – it could be tomorrow, next week, or next month, but if it takes two years, the important thing is that the changes HAVE COME.
In the days ahead, I hope to think into these things but for the moment, to start us off, we must come back to this blind man before Jesus: “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” It sounds almost a silly question but there are two realities to be observed here. The first reality is the one we’ve already been referring to, that of not liking change. I once knew a dear Christian lady (she has gone to be with the Lord now) but talking about her severe life-long disability and what would happen if Jesus healed her, she confessed it would be earth shattering. Her whole life had been lived around this disability and if it was no longer there, she would be free to live a completely different life – and that scared her. We will come back to this again at some point because it is so important, but do we want changes that might totally change our lives?
The other aspect is, and again we’ll look at it some more in the future, we may have grown so used to the current status quo that we cannot envisage it changing, and so there is a question of belief (or unbelief?) hanging over these thoughts. So I’ll state the battleground again, for that is what it is: we’d like to see changes in ourselves, or our unbelieving loved ones saved, our prodigals return, our workplace become godly, and so on; that’s it! So may we pray and think and listen in order to allow the changes that the Lord is saying he wishes to bring? Why did he come? “To proclaim good news to the poor…. freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Lk 4:18,19) Can we be freedom bringers? We’ll see.