Sunday, November 20, 2005

He sighed.

Have you ever thought about these two little words found twice in the Bible: "He sighed"?

Mark 7:34 Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened."

Why did You sigh, Lord? You had just sent the demon from the daughter of the Syro-Phoenician woman, who had reminded You that "even the little dogs under the table eat from the children's crumbs." You were about to transform the very life of one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, by opening his ears and loosing the impediment from his tongue. And You sighed.

Was it because of the fact that sin had marred the beauty and perfection of creation? You would never have had to put Your fingers in the ears of anyone to heal them, were it not for our first parents' eating the forbidden fruit in rebellion.

You sighed. Was it because You took him inside, away from the multitude, yet You knew that the more You would command the people to tell no one, the more they would proclaim it? Is it because we are so quick to disobey, to consider our own way to be the right way, even when You have commanded otherwise? Is it because we fallen creatures are so interested in the immediate - this temporal life with all its perks and pleasures - rather than the eternal? Did You sigh because You knew the people would focus on this miracle You had performed, proclaiming You to be the newest "star" in the culture of the day, with nary a thought regarding their fallen condition or the reality of the eternal?

They did not know, Lord. Is that why You sighed? They didn't understand that it was not the physical actions You performed by putting Your fingers into his ears, and touching his tongue with Your spit that healed him - it was Your word. You SAID, "Ephphtha, Be Opened". You spoke plainly. You commanded. They disregarded Your command.

No wonder You sighed.

You must sigh even today, when You see Your children going their own way and doing their own thing. You must sigh when You see us scurrying around, helter-skelter, rushing to accomplish much in things that are temporal, that will be burned up on the Last Day.

Forgive us when we do not listen to you.

Forgive us when we focus on things of this earth.

Forgive us when we rush to and fro, accomplishing much of what matters little.

Teach us Your way, O Lord. Teach us to pay attention to what YOU, Our Master, desires. Teach us that life is found in You, and You alone.

Help us, Lord. Do not give up on us. When You look at me, and sigh, let it be with the sigh of an ever-so-patient, gracious, and loving Parent towards a stumbling, faltering, wayward child. Have patience with me, O Lord. Correct me with kindness. Show me Your way. Direct my feet back on Your paths, and make my path straight.

Help me not to neglect Your word. Give me a desire to focus first on You, then on my husband and children. Give wisdom, Lord, to me. You promised to give it liberally, and I need it in abundance. Help me to order my day in such a way as to bring Your smile of approval on my feeble attempts to redeem the time You have given me. Let me feel Your presence. Let me walk as Your obedient servant, desiring only to please You.

I want to walk with You through the rest of my days, bearing fruit that will remain. I want to hear those precious words, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

Psalm 92:12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;
15 To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

May it be, Lord. May it be.