Have you ever struggled to hear the Lord (or, feel close to God)? Ever struggled to really know what it is that He’s saying to you?
Perhaps the first question we should really ask is, Do you even think that there is a God? And if you do, do you believe that He speaks to people today? Or do you think He is pretty much uninterested and uninvolved in the concerns and cares of people like us?
If we are honest, most of us long to know there is a God who cares and is reaching out to us. The trouble is, we don’t know how to talk to Him, much less hear from Him. When it comes to spiritual things, we actually feel quite like the person we’re going to meet today in the Gospel of Mark.
Mark 7:31-37 tells us…
“Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. There some people brought to Him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Him to place his hand on the man.
After He took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then He spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means, “Be opened!” ). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.
Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more He did so, the more they kept talking about it. People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” (NIV)
This is one of many miracles of healing Jesus performed during His earthly ministry. Blind people received their sight, lame people were raised to walk, lepers were cleansed of their disease and restored to their homes and families. It’s interesting to note that not every healing happened in the same way. Some people were healed by His touch. Some were healed simply from a word He spoke. Some miracles were performed quite publicly; some were not.
I love this story especially because it is one of those more quiet miracles. Did you see that Jesus took the man apart from the crowd, touched him and healed him? The miraculous often happens in an intimate moment with Christ, when we are alone with Him and our hearts are turned to Him without distraction. That’s when He speaks to us individually, making Himself known, healing our wounds, opening our ears to His voice, and putting His words on our tongues that we might share His grace and beauty with others.
We feel so desperate at times to “hear the Lord” or to be able to “speak His truth” to others; and yet we are so often unwilling to do what it takes to really seek Him! He so desires that we come away with Him to those quiet places. The challenge is, am I willing to allow Him to take me aside, away from the noise of the crowd, so that He can heal my spiritual deafness and put His words on my tongue? May we always be willing to do so.
Blessings on your day,
© February 26th, 2010