A few years ago, my family and I were in constant search for a home church. (We had recently left our old one.) If you have ever been on this seemingly never ending journey, of looking for a new church, you know how exhausting it can be. If not, let me explain why it is so. Having a church that you attend every Sunday is comfortable. It allows you to see warm smiles from friends, know who the speaker is and have heard them on more than one occasion, and it is easy to fall into the Christian behavior of deep thoughts and prayers on Sunday mornings especially.
When you are visiting new churches, the beginning isn’t all that tiring, it can even be exciting and fresh, however; after a few visits to different churches that aren’t for you, you begin to lose hope. This causes you to go into the next few weeks with a bad attitude, assuming upfront that you will not belong in that church. Eventually, you just begin to lose the energy to even wake up in the morning, because what is the point? You will never find another church anyways.
This doesn’t just cause you to lose hope in finding a church.
You also lose hope in God. You stop believing that He will lead you to where you want to be.
This is what searching for a church can do to you. And it is exhausting and spiritually draining. So, this is how I felt. I’m not positive about my family and whether they felt the same, but in my opinion, it is hard not to.
I believe we were going on about four or five months of searching when we first visited this church, Highland Church of Christ. I didn’t really notice anything special about the church or the sermon, although I did like how they provided coffee. I told my parents that I didn’t care to revisit it again.
I am so glad they didn’t listen to me.
We revisited the church a few months later. I remember it specifically, where I sat, what I was wearing, etc. The man who spoke was the assistant preacher. He was a younger man, newly married, and very energetic. I have never been so moved by a sermon in my life. It was like I had been blindly visiting churches for months, and his sermon was God telling me to open my eyes and let Him lead me to where I am supposed to me.
Mark 10: 46-52
The passage that opened my eyes. My quick summary of it, Jesus was on His way to die on the cross. He passed through a crowd of followers, one of which was a poor blind man. The blind man shouted for Jesus, even though others told him to stop. Jesus stopped and called for the blind man, who threw his cloak down and went to Him.
There are SO many things about this passage that blow my mind. Let me start by saying that in no way will I be able to explain this as well as the pastor did that day, but I strongly encourage everyone to study it themselves and gain a new perspective on Mark 10.
First of all, Jesus was on His way to die. For us. Why would he stop for a poor blind man? Or anyone for that matter? He was on His way to save the world and He still took time to heal an irrelevant, poor, blind sinner. This assures me that He will always find time for me. No matter how little my issue is, how pathetic I feel, or who I am, Jesus will stop whatever He is doing to help us.
Secondly, the faith of the blind man amazes me. If you have ever been to an outside concert, you know how hard it is to find anyone in the crowds. If you drop your phone, you may as well accept the loss because you will never find it again. This is how big the crowd was outside waiting for Jesus to pass through the town of Jericho. Now imagine you’re blind. This is how the man must have felt. Not only was he blind, but he was poor. He had so much faith in Jesus, he was confident enough to drop his cloak and walk to Him. His cloak, his one possession. Like a phone at a concert, he must have known he will never find it again. If thats not faith, I don’t know what is. I can barely scrounge up enough faith in my life to trust God for the tiniest things, let alone trusting him with my most treasured possession.
Thirdly, the blind man called for Jesus “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!”. Although men and women in the crowds told him to hush, he refused to stop. That is a true example of boldness, and it inspires me. It makes me want to find the boldness within myself to talk about Jesus on my college campus and show others my love for Him. Not stop when people tell me to hush.
Lastly, if you recall from earlier in this passage, I compared my church visiting to me being blind. That is how I felt, I was walking around churches, listening to sermons, but not seeing what God wanted me to see. God wanted me to open my eyes and see that I need to trust Him, be bold as I searched for churches, and to follow Him. I was the blind man in the crowds and Jesus was telling me what the blind man was told. “Take heart, get up, Jesus is calling you.”
My eyes are now open and willing to let God lead me to where I need to go. I eventually found a church, I found that place where I could comfortably worship Jesus, and I found the boldness to show others in college who I love and follow. As I just moved from Memphis to Knoxville, I am once again on the never-ending journey of finding a church. But this time is different, because I know I will end up where I need to be. I am taking heart, getting up, and listening to Jesus call me.