Yesterday I found myself looking at a big problem and unable to see the solution. In fact, the whole picture looked rather bleak. I saw no solution, and I felt tempted to cover my head with my comforter and have a good cry ... but the dog wouldn't get off the blanket. :)
Timaeus' son Bartimaeus faced an obstacle he couldn't see through either; he was literally physically blind. To meet his needs, he positioned himself near Jericho, on the road pilgrims took to Jerusalem. Sitting there, he was likely to receive pity from those feeling waves of generosity, but their alms couldn't heal his blindness.
While at his station one day, he heard the sound of a crowd passing by and was alert to the possibilities. He hadn't crawled under a blanket in self pity; he was waiting expectantly ... for more than a few coins. When he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was the reason for the ruckus, he boldly cried out for mercy from "Jesus, Son of David." Bartimaeus may've been in the dark visually, but his heart clearly recognized the Messiah.
Like people on the front row usually do, they tried to silence the rowdy guy in the back, but Bartimaeus cried out "all the more, 'Son of David, have mercy on me!'" (Lk 18:39).
Jesus stopped to see the blind man and asked what he wanted. Bartimaeus didn't wasted his chance asking for alms. He asked the Messiah to restore his sight, and Jesus healed him. Like others who set aside pride or influence or expectations or insecurities, the reason for the Blind Man's healing was an issue of the heart: "Your faith has made you well" (Lk. 18:42).
We could understand if Bartimaeus sat in the dirt and cried or covered himself up hopelessly, but to make room for Jesus, he got rid of self pity and reached out with bold faith.
When the Son of David said the sightless man was made well, He was really saying the man's faith saved him physically and spiritually. It's not surprising, then, that the newly sighted man's response was to follow Jesus and glorify God, evidence of a disciple's heart. Near Jericho that day, the Jerusalem bound crowd saw and heard what happened to the blind man with the bold faith, and "all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God" (Lk. 18:43).
Sometimes we can't see an answer to life's problems. There are circumstances that leave us feeling blind, tempting us to just sit down in the dirt and feel sorry for ourselves ... even at Christmas time. There won't be room for Jesus, if we just sit on our trouble, even while the Savior is within faith's reach.
I let the dog stay on the blanket yesterday. I did not cover up or have a good cry ... this time. ;)