Hey, my friends. Welcome back to Let’s Encourage One Another.
In today’s bonus episode, where we try on some spiritual practices together, I would like to read you a chapter from my Imagine devotional, which incorporates imaginative prayer. Imaginative prayer, as we talked about in episode 47, is about really trying to enter into the story and watch it unfold in front of you. Or, perhaps, you try to enter in as one of the characters in the story.
It’s much like reading a fiction book and experiencing what the main character is experiencing. We just sort of “take it on” ourselves.
Some people struggle with using their imaginations to read Scripture. After all, we’ve been taught to study it, to use our minds and reasons. However, I want to invite you to consider it differently. If we offer our imaginations to God, He can empower us to engage with His Word on an entirely different level. All I ask is that you give it an honest try.
And if you like it, if it resonates with you, you can grab the entire devotional on the website at lovedoesthat.org/shop.
The devotional is written about blind Bartimaeus, from Mark 10:46-52. I’ll read through the passage first, then read through the devotional.
As we begin, I encourage you to find a quiet, calm place. Close your eyes and just listen to the story and see what Jesus might have to share with you today.
Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus
Scripture: Mark 10:46-52 NLT
Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
“Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him.
But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.”
So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!” Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked.
“My Rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!”
And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.
Sometimes the road was busy. Right now, though, there was a peaceful stillness to it. Bartimaeus enjoyed these moments, even though he knew he needed people to walk by so that he could ask them for help. As a blind man, he had no way of making a living. He relied solely on the mercy of others. It was humiliating. So many people just ignored him or walked by the other side of the street. It was like he didn’t even exist.
Suddenly, he heard the rumble of people heading his way. Something was happening. Usually people passed by in groups of twos or threes, but this… this sounded like a lot more than that. He strained his ears to listen.
He couldn’t make out much, but he heard the name “Jesus of Nazareth.” And that was enough. Even he, the lonely blind beggar, had heard about this great man. Jesus worked miracles, there was no doubt about it. People who were once demon-possessed were now free. Those who were gravely ill brought back to life. And if rumor be true, this Jesus had opened the ears of a deaf man, empowering him to hear for the first time. Could this Jesus heal him? Absolutely. But would He?
As the crowd drew near, Bartimaeus did the only thing he knew to do: beg for mercy. “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” He didn’t know where Jesus was at in the crowd, so he kept shouting. “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
“Sshhh!” he heard in response. “Be quiet!” people in the crowd shouted at him. But he wasn’t about to lose his chance. He shouted even louder. “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The crowd grew still. What was happening? And then he heard someone say, “Come on, He’s calling you.”
Jesus must have heard him. And He had stopped! Bartimaeus tossed his coat aside, jumped up, and started meandering through the crowd, relying on them to point him in the right direction. When they pulled him to a stop, he heard a voice ask him, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
Oh, if Jesus only knew how much he wanted this. It was his deepest desire. How long he had imagined what his life might be like if only he could see… Did he dare ask Him?
“My Rabbi, I want to see!”
And just like that, he could see. And there was now only one thing he wanted to do: follow Jesus. He left his things alongside the road and stuck as close as he could to the man who had just radically changed his life.
During what time or situation have you been the most vulnerable?
Who did you turn to in that moment of vulnerability? Was it a good choice or a poor choice?
If Jesus asked you, “What do you want Me to do for you?” how would you answer Him?
Take some time to pray through those questions. Write them down, journal through them. And see what God has to share with you today.
And, if journaling is something you’d like to learn more about, I invite you to join me for my free workshop next week, Tuesday, January 18, called 3 Ways to Encounter God on the Pages of Your Journal. It will be a powerful time of learning how to bring God into our journaling and engage with Him. You can sign up at lovedoesthat.org/journalingworkshop.
Okay, my friends, thank you so much for being here today. Until next time…
>> Soul Care Group: Monthly email with soul care and spiritual formation practices
>> 3 Ways to Encounter God on the Pages of Your Journal Workshop: Tuesday, January 18th at 11:00am Eastern
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