The other day a friend shared a story from the Bible with me. It’s found in Mark 8:22-26. The story is about a blind man who was brought to Jesus. Jesus spit on the blind man’s eyes, and laid hands on him. But the man could only see partially. He said he saw men, but they looked like trees walking. So Jesus laid his hands on the man’s eyes a second time. This time when he opened his eyes he saw everything clearly.
So why did Jesus have to try twice to heal the blind man? Why couldn’t he just heal him completely the first time? Sometimes, for whatever reason, God chooses to do things in stages, it’s often a process. While we were in the ICU, Nancy and I would talk about the miracles in the Bible. Jesus could just say the words, and people would be healed, immediately. But this blind guy had to go through a process.
There are other times in the Bible when God chooses to use a process instead of instantly saving the day. The leper had to dip himself in the Jordan river, not once or twice, but 7 times (2 Kings 5:14). The Israelites had to march around the city of Jericho 13 times - once a day for 6 days, and 7 times on the seventh day (Joshua 6:15). God does things in stages.
God could have raised Garren miraculously from his bed. He still could. But he chooses to use stages, a process, in order to teach us, and in order to bring glory to Himself.
And God uses these “opportunities in disguise” to prepare us for greater works down the road. I was reading today’s entry in Streams in the Desert today. It talked about opportunities in disguise. David, when he was a shepherd boy, faced and killed a lion and a bear, on two separate occasions. Most of us would flip out at the thought of trying to kill a lion with a slingshot! But David took the opportunity head on. It made him stronger. It prepared him for greater things down the road - like killing a giant, and becoming king of Israel.
“Every difficulty and every temptation that comes our way, if we receive it correctly, is God’s opportunity.” We must learn to recognize difficult times in our lives as opportunities from God. “May the Lord open our eyes to Him, even in temptations, trials, dangers, and misfortunes.”