Become What You Believe

Become What You Believe September 11, 2008

Today I happened upon this little piece of Matthew’s Gospel (9:27ff), paraphrased by Eugene Peterson in The Message:

As Jesus left the house, he was followed by two blind men crying out, “Mercy, Son of David! Mercy on us!” When Jesus got home, the blind men went in with him. Jesus said to them, “Do you really believe I can do this?” They said, “Why, yes, Master!” He touched their eyes and said, “Become what you believe.” It happened. They saw.

It echoed in my ears: “Become what you believe.”

I swear I spend a lot of time bemoaning the fact that my life doesn’t always seem to reflect what it is I believe (practice what you preach and all that). I try. We all try. But how many of us have it all under control? (If you do please do not tell me.)

This discrepancy can lead to a feeling of failure, or at least the vague suspicion that your life is rather disingenuous . . . which is bad in general but especially bad if your job happens to include suggesting to other people how they should live, you know what I mean?

So, I must say it was rather like a soothing balm to hear the words of Jesus: “Become what you believe” and realize that Jesus said them in the context of . . . performing a miracle.

That is, Jesus was miraculously creating a set of circumstances that did not quite exist before he got there.

As Christians we live believing . . . we live believing that God’s hopes and dreams for this world might somehow be borne out in our lives, even if they come to be only little by little by little, and certainly not by our own resolve or intelligence or manufacturing. That little detail is the shred of grace for me today, the little piece of hope reminding me that belief is just that-hope in something that hasn’t quite come to be yet. We’re not supposed to have it all figured out . . . we’re supposed to believe that GOD has it all figured out.

What a relief. God’s not surprised in the least that we need help living up to what we believe. That is, very likely, one of the main reasons Jesus came to visit and ended up running into the blind men begging desperately for hope. And even though God isn’t walking alongside us in human form today, I expect God is still cheering us on in our efforts to live believing in what the world around us thinks is totally nuts, even when our lives seem so very far away from what we hope and dream.

If you’re anything like me, you might feel like your life only faintly resembles what you believe. Today, stumble along with me toward the hope of the miraculous, that one day we will . . . become what we believe.


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