I didn’t notice all the question marks until about chapter eight—questions from Jesus. Don’t you see? Don’t you hear? Don’t you remember? How many loaves did you start with? How many baskets of leftovers did you pick up?
I wondered about these questions in the Gospel of Mark. What do they reveal about the Lord? And as I pondered, I fell in love with Him again. Jesus is not a one-way God. He wants conversation. He wants interaction—with me.
Questions encourage remembrance. Also, Jesus’ questions show that He wants me to think. With questions, the Lord not only stimulates the disciples’ memory but engages them in conversation. And conversation requires response.
I was already thinking about this—about Jesus the conversational God wanting interaction with me, about Jesus not being a one-way God like a professor in a lecture hall but one who desires my response—when I arrived at Bethsaida with Jesus and the disciples.
In Bethsaida the beautiful, unnamed “they” brought a blind man to Jesus. They implored Jesus for the blind man’s sake. Touch him, Lord! Touch him!
Taking the blind man by the hand, He brought him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him…
(all quotes from Mark 8:23ff.)
And here is the question that captivated me:
Do you see anything?
After reading this, I put on my running shoes for my daily half-hour run. I spent all those thirty minutes meditating on one question and asking it of myself: Do you see anything?
When Jesus asked,
Do you see anything? He wasn’t chewing His fingernails wondering if the healing worked. He was being Himself, the conversational God, stimulating the man’s thinking, forcing him to pick up his head and take a look around, leading him to say in his own words what has happened so far.
And he looked up and said,I see men, for I see them like trees, walking around.
Partial vision. Jesus didn’t immediately take this man all the way to 20/20. By taking him only part of the way, the Lord created an in-between time—and during this time, He asked a question.
Jogging, I turned off of Allegheny and uphill onto the steepest part of Centennial Boulevard, my regular route. The question repeated, like the cadence of my strides: Do you see anything?
Do you see anything?
Do you see anything?
I veered up the dirt trail that parallels the road. The evening sun warmed my right side as I jogged. Do you see anything?
When the Lord has given me partial vision—when He doesn’t give me all the answers right away (which is when I usually want them)—how do I respond?
I asked myself, then:
Do I see anything? What has God partially revealed to me, and how can I acknowledge it—at this point in the journey?
I considered: what, so far, are some things that I certainly know?
God loves me.
God wants me to be with Him.
God is teaching me to obey Him.
God’s plans for my future are solid
and always good.
God wants me to give more of my energy to homeschooling.
God wants me to pray more.
God doesn’t want me to attend or teach Bible study on Tuesday mornings, but only in the evening.
God wants me to take a break from teaching Sunday school.
God wants me to reserve my time and energy, in case I need to give more for our toymaking company.
God doesn’t want me to be part of the worship music planning team.
These are examples of what I see at this point. Yet, much more do I not see and not know. In these unknowns, I choose to trust Him and wait in the exciting in-between time—all the while looking up, seeing, and acknowledging the men like trees, walking. This is what I do with partial vision.
Father, thank you for what you have shown me so far. Thank you for your step-by-step guidance. Thank you for the in-between times, full of unknowns. I give my desires to you, trusting that you will accomplish your will in and through me. May I glorify you and accomplish the work which you have given me to do.
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