Putting your voice out in the world these days is very scary, not to mention drowned out the endless numbers of other voices demanding attention. What was somewhat a therapy for me, writing has become one of my biggest fears. What once made me feel most like what God made me to be – an encourager through my words – has had me too scared of what others may think. Let’s face it, no one wants to become part of a growing cancel culture because they say or do something to bring disagreement. We once gave people the benefit of the doubt before assuming the worst, but that step has been skipped, and next thing you know you’ve offended someone, albeit unintentionally. I’ve grown too scared to try, and too tired of the endless noise of negativity. My secret – or maybe not so secret – truth is I really want everyone to like me, not be mad at me, and to just get along with me…and get along with everyone in general. I cannot lie. I am an Ennegram 6 to the core. The thing is, though, God called me to more. He called me to encourage, to be bold to tell my story, and to be the me He’s made me to be. Though fear may try to destroy us in so many ways right now, God is bigger. The sole desire of my life is that He is just that – BIGGER! My story of God healing me physically after 16 years of health problems changed me. I promised I would live with radical faith because of it, but these past few months I’ve lived with guarded faith defined by fear. He’s given me a heart for the hurting, the ones too scared to share their story, the ones so overridden with pain, both physically and emotionally, and the ones who have built some very fortified walls in their lives afraid to let people in. It’s for those I write. It’s for those I speak. It’s you I see.
Before “cancel culture” became a thing, I have canceled myself from the culture around me, never feeling like I quite fit in with those in my life, always misunderstood, and not extraordinarily special. You, too? Here’s the thing…all of these things may be how we feel, but they are ME centered. My real truth lies in my God truth. Your real truth lies in your God truth. What He has done in our lives, and is doing in our lives, is our highlight reel. It is always that story that must be shared.
This morning, I read this passage:
‘ And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.’ Mark 10:46-48,50-52
What? You mean that it is as simple as crying out to Jesus to make us well? Well, yeah. I actually know that it is. I did that, remember? I didn’t understand for 16 years why it took so long to make me well, until I realized that I had not placed my faith squarely on Him to make me well. Oh I did actually place faith on Him. I just didn’t leave it there. I didn’t surrender it. I get how the blind man feels on so many levels here. He was sick and tired of being sick and tired. He saw his answer and took a risk. He heard the voices of negativity and unbelief attempting to shut him up. He was as desperate as desperate could be, and he surrendered it all and simply cried out to Jesus to be his story! He used his voice to silence fears, to put action to his faith, and to ultimately encourage those around him to believe!
These days we are living voices echo crying that there’s a better way. “My way is better!” “No! My way is better!” If we can take encouragement from a blind man, of which we all in actuality are, and see the Light, if you will, His way is always better. What may feel dreadfully scary and intimidating to do or be, is the BEST place to be if He goes with us. He equips us to do hard things, use shaky voices to bring life-giving messages, to love the most difficult people in our lives, so that His glory may clearly be seen. Today, I take back my faith and crush fear underneath it because YOU are worth it to me. I want to see you soar, and I want to soar with you. Together we can shine a light on the One who heals the sick, restores sight to the blind, and saves the lowliest of the lowly, of which we all are.
Carry the Word with you:
Read Mark 10:46-48; 50-52. Journal your thoughts. Pray and listen to how it applies to your life. Apply the word to your life and do something to put faith into action.
Worship: Listen to “Quiet” and meditate on how God has not called you to hide, but to live boldly. I love this song because we quiet people have all too often bought into the lie that we can’t be used to change lives, but God uses how He made us by putting exactly the right people into our paths.