The last couple of mornings have been rather cold here in Florida...and I hadn't seen any of the kids mentioned above at their bus stops since the Christmas break. I was getting a little concerned that perhaps this particular young man may have moved or something may have changed in his schedule or possibly he was sick. Well, today was an amazing morning!
When I approached the area where this young man usually stands waiting for his school bus I began to pray, "Lord, let him be there today." As I got closer, I could see him standing there in his usual spot...but something was very different. Instead of the slouching, pathetic looking teen with the "stringy, greasy, unkempt longish hair" covering his pimply face, there stood a young man tall and straight, with the nicest, cleanest haircut, and a look on his face of self-confidence and interest that had never been there before! I didn't even notice if he still had the pimples on his face...he looked like a totally different person! I actually did a double-take to be sure it really was him! I'm sure it was...a transformed individual...ready to meet the world with confidence.
I can only say to you that I burst into tears and laughter (joy) at the same time! I could not believe my eyes! (It was all I could do to not stop my car and run up to him and tell him about this) And yet, as I began to cry out words of praise and thanksgiving to God, I had to ask myself, "Well, what did you think?" I mean, why shouldn't I have expected God to answer my prayers for this young man? Did I doubt that God would hear my prayers, or that He really didn't care about this boy?
This past Sunday my husband preached a sermon from Luke chapter 18, verses 35-43, about the blind man who sat beside the road begging. And when he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by, he cried out,
"Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" (vs. 39). Then in verse 41 Jesus responded to him asking, "What do you want Me to do for you?" and the blind man answered, "Lord, that I may receive my sight."
What do you think Jesus said to this man after that bold request? Do you think He told him, "No, I'm sorry, that's too hard for me"? Or did He tell him that He needed to clean up his act and quit begging and go get a real job...or that he needed to go see a doctor? Did Jesus tell the man that He was too busy to deal with the likes of someone like him? No, none of the above. Instead, in verse 42 Jesus said to the blind man:
"Receive your sight; your faith has made you well."
This blind beggar's FAITH is what made him well. That's all...nothing else required...just pure, simple faith.
And in verse 43 is says, "And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God."
I can tell you that when I saw this young man alongside the road this morning, looking like a new person, with hope in his eyes, I had to give glory to God. There is no doubt in my mind that God did this. I don't know what is happening inside the heart and mind of this young man, but I do believe that God is at work on the inside as well as on the outside. There has to be a reason for this transformation that only God can explain.
This gave me such encouragement and hope today, on a day that I truly needed it. If God can hear my prayers for a stranger alongside the road and show me that He has indeed heard my prayers and that He is already at work in this person's life as a result of those prayers (yes, I do believe that), then what else might He be doing in the lives of others for whom I have been so burdened even more so than this young man? People much closer to me than this unidentified teenager? My own son in fact, in need of serious intervention from the Lord to save his life from the spread of the horrid disease that is rapidly overtaking his body and causing so much pain and destruction. Is Jesus asking me today, "What do you want Me to do for you?"
If so, then my answer is, "Lord, that my son would be healed and restored to us healthy and whole again." Is this too much to ask? Can my faith make him well?
"Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on my son! Jesus, My Savior and Lord, have mercy on us.
In the Name of Jesus, Jehovah-Rophe, My Healer, (Exodus 15:26), I pray today. Amen.