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A Heart Desperate for God

Ash Wednesday February 14

Introduction: The season of Lent always begins on Ash Wednesday. During this shortened week of Lent, we will reflect on the story of Jesus’ encounter with a blind beggar (or two beggars, according to Matthew). The attitude of this beggar demonstrates the perspective that we hope each of us has as we enter the season of Lent: desperate and hungry for what Jesus has to offer us. As we seek Jesus, we can be comforted that He takes the time to notice us and our needs.

A Heart Desperate for God

Bartimaeus encountered Jesus as he was sitting on the side of a road, begging, in a position of desperation. While he was blind, the irony of this story is that those who could see were utterly blind to His need and failed to grasp the mission of Jesus. As soon as he began to cry out for Jesus, the crowds rebuked him and instructed him to be quiet. I wonder how many times people had told this man to be silent? I wonder how often we pass by a modern-day Bartimaeus with the same attitude? Instead of listening to their rebukes, he shouted all the louder, “Have mercy on me!”

Repeatedly, we see that Jesus is looking for a heart that is desperate for Him, which He found in Bartimaeus. Can you imagine how long he had been waiting for someone to see him? For someone to help him? And yet here he stood, face-to-face with the Creator of the universe. He boldly asked not just for help but a miracle! And Jesus delivered. “Go… your faith has healed you… And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus.”

Questions for Reflection:

Think: What do you notice about Bartemaeus’ posture towards Jesus in this passage? How does it compare to the attitude the crowd had towards Bartimaeus?

Pray: When was the last time that you were desperate for God to move in your life? What unanswered questions do you still have? Present these things to God and ask that He might respond to you mercifully, just like He responded to Bartimaeus.

Respond: As you enter into this season of Lent, what can you do to demonstrate the same kind of desperation of heart for God that Bartimaeus had? Think about what kinds of spiritual practices you could incorporate into your life for the next 40 days. Some ideas might be fasting, prayer, times of solitude and silence with God, or journaling. Anything that helps you connect with God and seek to spend more time with Him will be helpful, no matter how it looks

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