Faith. It's such a beautiful word. It graces artwork in our homes, picture frames on our desk, stationery and greeting cards.
But there's such a depth to it that goes beyond all this.
Faith is a gift, yet it's also a choice.
Faith is an active decision, yet it can't be made without grace.
On retreat several months ago, a priest assigned me a section of the Bible. Read Luke 18:35-42, he told me. Let Jesus ask you that same question, he said...what would your reply be?
I sat in the warmth and quietness of the chapel and found the passage. A blind man. Needing Jesus. Wanting him. Calling for him despite the obstacles.
Jesus asks, "What do you want me to do for you?"
My heart cried out, You know what I want most, Lord! You know the desires of my heart! You know the confusion and the pain in this season.
The blind man answers, "Lord, I want to see."
Yes, Lord. I want to see, too. It's a yearning in my heart. I want so much to see the future, to know it will all be okay. Open the eyes of my heart that I see the flaws and faults that blind me, those that keep me from fully trusting you.
Jesus, ever compassionate, ever aware of our desires...was touched by this man's simple plea. "Look and you will see. Your eyes have been healed because of your faith."
A promise. A beautiful healing. A reward for the blind man's persistent faith.
This passage continued to feed my soul when I read it. It wasn't until several weeks later as I flipped to the bookmarked page once again that it hit me. In a way I hadn't seen before.
"Look and you will see."
An action first. The blind man must look. Must believe that if He opens His eyes in faith, He will see.
"Your eyes have been healed because of your faith."
First comes the faith. Then the healing. Not the other way around.
The same is true for my life. Faith is not the result of miracles. Rather miracles are the result of faith.
Faith is not faith unless we first open our eyes and look even when it seems that nothing will be there. But when we open our eyes, we will see. We will be healed because of our faith.