God uses Ordinary to Do Extraordinary
God loves to use Ordinary people like you and me, faults and all, to do extraordinary things. My question to you is: are you allowing your weaknesses and insecurities to keep you from being your best? Are you letting feelings of inadequacy keep you from believing God for bigger things? God wants to use you in spite of your weaknesses. Don’t focus on your weaknesses; focus on your God.
The old joke goes that a man who lived by a river heard a radio report that the river was rising, would soon flood the town, and all residents should evacuate immediately. The man refused to go. “I am a religious man,” he said. “God loves me and will take care of me.”
As the waters rose, a man in a rowboat came by and called out, “You in there, the town is flooding. Come with me and let me take you to safety!” But the man refused to leave his home. “I am a religious man,” he said. “God loves me and will take care of me.”
Later a helicopter hovered overhead and a man yelled down, “You in there, the town is flooding. I’ll drop this ladder and take you to safety!” But the man refused to leave his home. “I am a religious man,” he said. “God loves me and will take care of me.”
The man drowned in the floodwaters and, standing at the gates of heaven with St. Peter, he demanded an audience with God. “Lord, why didn’t you save me? I thought you loved me?” God answered him: “I sent you a radio report, a boat, and a helicopter. What else did you want?”
In today’s Gospel, Jesus surely could have cured the man’s blindness by a simple word, or by the gesture of smearing clay mixed with his saliva on the man’s eyes, but the man was not cured until he followed Jesus’ instruction to “go wash in the Pool of Siloam.” Only when the man responded to Jesus was he able to see.
God, though all powerful and all knowing, calls each of us into an encounter, constantly reaching out to us with radio reports, rowboats, and helicopters. God uses these types of invitations to bring us into a relationship.
Our first response may simply be an openness to such a call, much like the blind man who simply obeyed the instruction to go wash in the Pool of Siloam. Then the relationship deepens over time. When intensely questioned by the Pharisees, the formerly blind man now tells them Jesus is a prophet, and later tells Jesus directly that he believes in him and worships him. But if he did not first go and wash in the Pool of Siloam—if he didn’t initially respond to God’s call—the man would still be blind.
Lent is the perfect time to reflect on God’s call in our own lives—to see the radio reports, rowboats, and helicopters sent our way—and to respond.
Prayer for Today
Thank you, Lord, for your gift of this season of Lent, and for the gentle challenges to growth that come through your Son’s Word. At this halfway point in our 40-day journey, grant us the vision to see more clearly the ways we might better love you and our neighbors. We ask for your grace to finish this journey well, that we may experience the fullness of Easter life and joy. Amen.