One thing that we learned on the farm where we raised sheep was that at shearing time in the spring, dirt and burrs were hard to get out of the wool, and they would decrease the value of the fleece at market. John and I were very careful when feeding the sheep not to get dirt on their backs that would work into the wool. In the pasture along the sheep paths was a plant known as Sheep Burr. This plant could adjust to weather and soil, it could grow in all locations, and it was very hard to get rid of.
As I considered how Sheep Burr conforms to survive, I thought of the saying, "Bloom where you are planted", and I was reminded of this Scripture:
Luke 18:35-37 – As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by." (NIV)
The gospel of Mark tells us that his name was Bartimaeus. Just to survive, someone had to help him every day to get to his spot to beg for food and money. He sat each day on the roadside adjusting to weather: hot or cold, sun or rain, with dust and bugs. He adjusted to the noises of the crowds. But one day he heard a different noise than usual, and he was able to distinguish what really mattered: Jesus. Bartimaeus started to yell, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me." People tried to quiet Bartimaeus from his shouting, but Scripture says that he shouted all the more.
Luke 18:40-43 – Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" "Lord, I want to see," he replied. Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God. (NIV)
It is notable that a beggar changed the outlook of the other people on the road to Jericho. Bartimaeus, considered a nobody, bloomed where he was planted and helped the crowd to recognize Jesus, the Son of God, the One who is able to give spiritual life and offer mercy to all who come to Him in faith.
These days, people are being forced to adjust to unprecedented conditions and circumstances. COVID-19 is possibly forcing financial ruin, poverty, marital or family disruption, hunger, disease, or premature death upon many within our own country and around the world. Governments are trying to ease the situation for the population, but what an awesome task!
Like blind Bartimaeus, we can choose to bloom where we are planted, and point people to the power and love of God in Jesus, who said, "For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that every one who believes in him shall not be lost, but should have eternal life." (John 3:16 Phillips)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to share Your love for us and to change the outlook of the people around us. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Glory Be To God The Father" (Lyrics)