Mark 8:25 – Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. (NIV)
I almost died of hepatitis in my last year of college. Somehow I had contracted it — either as the result of the lack of food hygiene in the university canteen or by way of a chemical chlorine reaction to some prescribed medication. Whatever it was, I was at death's door, and I couldn't do anything to save my life.
I remember that my minister and an elder came to visit me. They were shocked when they saw me and consoled my wife Evelyn when the visit was over. They believed that I didn't have any chance of recovery, and I could hear the hopelessness in their voices when they prayed with me.
But recovery did come — after three gruelling months. It was a slow process, and I owed everything to Evelyn and to God for taking care of me. Healing came in stages, but not overnight. By the end of that summer, I was ready to begin work as an assistant minister.
Sometimes healing comes in stages, even with Jesus helping. Take the blind man, for instance, in today's gospel passage. He has three stages to experience before being cured. First of all, Jesus isolates him. Secondly, He makes some sort of mud paste to re-hydrate His eyes. Finally, Christ touches His eyes and that's when the man can perfectly see. It's like a trinitarian process of healing, rather than an immediate one.
We all have people to pray for. We all have loved ones whom we want Jesus to heal. Sometimes it looks as though nothing is happening, but given time, we may see the long-term results of healing, recovery, and cure come to other people's lives. We cannot give up on faith and give in to frustration. We need to hold on to hope and to see healing as a process, as a package of recovery, and not some instantaneous divine reaction to our anxious prayers.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, there are some situations in which we feel powerless and have no control. When we, or our loved ones, are suffering from illness, injury, or even addiction, we wish that everything would clear up quickly and completely. Grant us the patience to wait for healing and to remain hopeful in our hearts, especially during those moments and times when our anxieties, impatience, and frustration threaten to wear us down. In Your holy name, we make these prayers. Amen.