The Request

Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. –Luke 18:40-41

I came across the story about a man who took his kids out to eat. The man’s six-year-old son asked if he could say grace. As they bowed their heads the boy prayed, “God is good. God is great. Thank you for the food and I would even thank you more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and Justice for all! Amen!” Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby, he heard a woman remark, “That’s what’s wrong with this country. Kids today don’t even know how to pray. Asking God for ice cream! Why, I never!”

Hearing this, the man’s son burst into tears and asked the father, “Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?” As he held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job and God was certainly not mad at him, an old man who had observed the whole thing approached the table. He winked at the boy and said, “I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer.” “Really?” the boy asked. “Cross my heart.” Then in a theatrical whisper he added, “Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. Sometimes a little ice cream is good for the soul.”

This is what the man in today’s Scripture understood. He asked for what he desired. Picture the scene: a blind man performed his monotonous ritual of begging day after day. Without a miracle, nothing would change. There were no optometrists, no lasik eye surgery, no cornea transplants. Blindness and begging are his destiny…until the day Jesus passes by. With a buzz in the air, people rush past him in excitement. Although he can’t see with his eyes, he feels the energy in the air and hears it with his ears. Jesus was near, and in desperation the beggar begins to cry out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Rebuked by the crowd, he yells louder. The crowd ignored him, but Jesus took notice and answered.

Commentator William Barclay wrote, “A gentle, sentimental longing never really taps the power of God; but the passionate, intense desire of the very depths of the human heart will never be disappointed.” Our faith is often so proper and too often we allow what others think determine our actions–even in our relationship with Jesus Himself.

Today, may we be more like the blind beggar who cried out in desperation…and was answered.

1. How desperate are you for God’s help? Is there a situation in your life about which you ought to cry out to God?

2. How does today’s Scripture give you confidence that God cares about your own difficult situations?

Luke 18:35-43; James 4:2-3; Matthew 7:7-11; Hebrews 4:16

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Leslie Snyder

Leslie is a wife, mother, youth ministry veteran and long-time member of the HomeWord daily devotional writing team. Along with her family, she lives in Walla Walla, Washington where she is the owner and personal trainer at Redefine Fitness and Nutrition.

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