Page after page, I see the words repeated as I make my way through the gospels. Blind Bartimaeus, the woman in the crowd with the bleeding condition, the ten who suffered with leprosy. Someone has a need with no earthly answers, and having reached the end of their own solutions, they turn to Jesus and put their faith in the only option they have left. “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” And then the beautiful response from Jesus, “Your faith has made you well.”
Throughout the gospels, we see people whose voices and actions are marked by a deep desperation. In the past, desperation has come in my life when I finally realize that all the things I have placed my faith in cannot actually handle the weight of my need.
Bartimaeus sat by the city gate, blind, impoverished, without hope. The doctors had failed to heal the woman with the bleed, even as she spent every penny she had over the course of 12 years. The lepers were forced to leave their families and live on the fringes of society, quarantined from their homes and those they loved.
All of this, that is, until they overheard gossip about a man named Jesus. The stories of his miracles passed from person to person until finally landing on the doorstep of desperation, bringing a spark of hope back into their souls.
Have you ever felt the pain of renewed hope? You logically know that this new treatment, answer, or option probably isn’t what you want it to be. You’ve been disappointed so often before. You’ve put your faith in so many different places, so many different outcomes, and none have made good on their promises.
But what if our faith isn’t supposed to rest on the outcome that we seek, or the method we choose, but in the person of Jesus Christ?
Biblical faith is not a white-knuckled, breath-held, fingers-crossed reliance upon the outcome that we desire. Often, I am tempted to do this. When my husband’s job is affected by the pandemic, all I want to do is pray, “Lord, don’t let my husband be laid off! In the name of Jesus, don’t let him be laid off!” But, when I say that I trust God to provide for my family, I also have to trust that he may do so in a way that I may not be anticipating or comfortable with. So I pray instead, “Lord, thank you for promising to provide for my family, we wait with excitement to see how you choose to come through for us this time, even if the layoffs come.”
God does not fail me if my husband gets laid off. Layoffs do not shake my faith, instead they excite me for the way that God is now going to miraculously provide for us. My faith rests solidly on my God, who is fully capable of providing for my family, not on a job that may be here today and gone tomorrow.
So when life’s situations tempt me to sink into desperation, I say with Bartimaeus, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me!” I reach out like the bleeding woman in the crowd and grasp the fringe of Jesus’ cloak, holding on for dear life to the source of all life. And when Jesus comes through for me in creative and overwhelming ways, I return to his feet like the tenth leper and thank the only one who is worthy and able to bear the weight of my need.
Where in your life is God asking you to partner with him in faith? Do you find yourself tying your faith to the specific outcome that you want, or holding your hands open for God’s creative mercies?
- Bartimaeus: Mark 10:46-52
- The woman who bled: Luke 8:43-48
- The ten lepers: Luke 17:11-19
Lord Jesus, you are the great provider and the great healer. I place my faith and trust in you as the only secure place in this world. I wait expectantly for your provision in my life. Give me your eyes to see the creative ways that you are coming through for me today. May my faith rest on your goodness and not my agenda. Amen
Danielle Miller is mom to three girls and has been married to her husband, Johnny for 10 years. After 14 years in the medical field, including almost a decade as a nurse, she is enjoying being a stay at home mom with all the coffee and play dates that go along with that. She also enjoys eating out, running, gardening, and lake vacations.