15 February 2019
The serpent was the most subtle of all the wild beasts that the Lord God had made. It asked the woman, ‘Did God really say you were not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?’ The woman answered the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees in the garden. But of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden God said, “You must not eat it, nor touch it, under pain of death.”’ Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘No! You will not die! God knows in fact that on the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil.’ The woman saw that the tree was good to eat and pleasing to the eye, and that it was desirable for the knowledge that it could give. So she took some of its fruit and ate it. She gave some also to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realised that they were naked. So they sewed fig-leaves together to make themselves loin-cloths.
The man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Returning from the district of Tyre, Jesus went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, right through the Decapolis region. And they brought him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they asked him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, put his fingers into the man’s ears and touched his tongue with spittle. Then looking up to heaven he sighed; and he said to him, ‘Ephphatha’, that is, ‘Be opened.’ And his ears were opened, and the ligament of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly. And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they published it. Their admiration was unbounded. ‘He has done all things well,’ they said ‘he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.’
“He has done all things well…he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.”
Admittedly, I am a germaphobe. I carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer with me wherever I go. I don’t even like holding onto the hand rails of escalators or public staircases. Imagine my reaction when reading the passage where Jesus healed the deaf man with speech impediments by putting His fingers in the man’s ears and touched his tongue with spittle!
If I simply focus on the chosen method of healing, I would have missed the whole picture. The important point is the Jesus healed the man. He “makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak”. Our Lord is capable of the impossible, if only we believe and trust in Him.
The method chosen may not be what we expect or want, but it doesn’t diminish the act of healing in the slightest bit. In fact, we should glorify God that He is able to turn something that seems unpleasant into a beautiful thing! How wonderful is our God and how wondrous are His ways!
For the foodies out there, there is a Chinese delicacy called ‘stinky tofu’. For those who are unfamiliar with this delicacy, as the name suggests, it is very pungent. In the fermenting and cooking process, the smell is very strong and repugnant (to some). However, the end product is flavourful beyond imagination and simply delicious!
Similarly, we need to focus on the outcome, even when the process may not be what we desire or expect. Whether we are in need of healing in our lives or in need of spiritual growth, our Lord will often surprise us with His chosen method. His way may include some discomfort and growing pains, but we need to trust in the Lord and have faith that our Heavenly Father has a plan and He knows best our needs. In the end, our Lord will provide!
(Today’s OXYGEN by Winnie Kung)
Prayer: Please grant us the grace to believe and trust even when we don’t understand Your plans for us. Jesus, we trust in You.
Thanksgiving: Heavenly Father, You know us best, even more than we do ourselves. We thank you for giving us what we need and not what we want.