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Trusting His Process

I marvel at Jesus’ anticipation of our needs as His followers.

In my walk with Jesus, I often get weary of the confusion I experience in terms of His actions and His timing. You could translate that last sentence as, “why I don’t get immediate action and change at the moment of my current request?” If you wanted to add a secondary thought, you could include, “as I directed it to be.”

Trust is a long-haul proposition. He does not save us when we trust Him as Savior and then give us a slap on the back and say, “Have at it!” Instead, Jesus calls us to a long obedience in the right direction. Note the clarity of His invitation.

And He {Jesus} was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me,
he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.

Luke 9:23

He promises to be with us as present, personal, and active. He is available and accessible. We must look to Him, not ourselves. We must submit to Him, not give directions. We must follow Jesus wherever, forever. Unpacking those phrases is a lifetime journey.

Jesus gives us reassurance that we do not have to be perfect or get it all in Mark 8:22-26. In this paragraph, He heals a blind man in Bethsaida. This biblical, historical account opens the section of discipleship in the gospel of Mark (chapters 8-10). As we consider how the gospel is constructed for our reading purposes, the literary structure informs us about following Jesus.

The fact that this healing of blindness is given in two steps catches our attention. After the first laying on of Jesus’ hands and some divine spittle, the man could see people “as trees, walking around.” In other words, he had some sight. He could distinguish people. But he could not see details.

After another laying on of hands, the man is healed. He was blind but now can see! We often gain spiritual insight and understanding in stages just like the healing of these blind eyes. Scripture or circumstances often come into clearer focus down the road of our journey.

Fast forward to the end of this discipleship section in Mark’s gospel. Jesus heals a blind man named Bartimaeus as He is leaving Jericho (10:46-52).

The healing took place in one single action when Jesus spoke to him. And “he regained his sight and began following Jesus…”

The contrast in these two healings gives us insight into the process of discipleship. Jesus is letting us know that as we walk with Him, we will not always understand everything completely. Our confusion will be that some truth is not fully apparent. Our understanding will be limited. We might feel as if we see “people as trees.”

In those situations, we are still called to follow Him. Following Him requires a deepening trust. We may not understand anything at the time. We may not ever understand everything. If we are willing to set our agenda aside, submit to Him, and trust Him, we will find ourselves following Him with loving obedience.

I have found that such a commitment of loyalty to Jesus (following without knowing where or why) increases my dependence upon Him. I have a greater awareness of what He is doing in my life spiritually. My curiosity grows as I anticipate His goodness and want to see it play out.

And sometimes, everything comes together and He allows me clear focus. Like Bartimaeus, I am able to see and understand Jesus with great clarity. Ever have those moments?

I believe Jesus gave us these contrasting healings of two blind men to reveal that we won’t always understand His ways. In fact, our ability to follow Him with great trust might occasionally be foggy and indefinable. He gives us reassurance that processing life and growing spiritually as He desires (with deep loyalty to Him) is not automatic. Do not feel badly if you are not experiencing His life to the fullest but DO keep trusting Him to grow you into His likeness.

You may experience “Bartimaeus moments” along the way when Jesus makes everything clear. And you may not gain such clarity along the way. Thankfully, we have a certain hope that we will see all things clearly when we see Him face-to-face.

May Jesus give you a clearer experience of His presence this Advent season. After all, He is Immanuel, God with us.

Love and blessings,


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