Have you ever gone through a drive-through for a fast-food spot, and, when you got to the menu, you had no idea what to order? "Uhhh," you might have started, "Can you give me a minute?" Approaching God with our needs can sometimes feel this way, especially when there is a lot happening to us or our loved ones. We might not know where to start. We might not know what to say. We might even need a moment to gather our thoughts. But eventually, we put words together and verbalize to God what is on our hearts.
When blind Bartimaeus approached Jesus with his need, Jesus already knew what his condition was. Yet, he asked Bartimaeus, "What do you want me to do for you?" (Mark 10:51a). Now, I don't know if this caught Bartimaeus off guard. I don't know if Bartimaeus needed a moment to gather his thoughts. But I do know this: Jesus asked Bartimaeus the obvious question to invite him to put words to his need, and it's exactly what Bartimaeus did. "Rabbi," he verbalized, "I want to see" (Mark 10:51b).
God is certainly all-knowing (Psalm 139:1-4; Matthew 6:8). But, sometimes, God just wants us to verbalize our needs to him. Especially our deepest, truest needs, which have less to do with our circumstances and more to do with our hearts. This week, bring all your circumstantial needs to God. But, as you do, also take a moment to look honestly at your own heart. Is there something there that needs to change so you could live and love more like Jesus? We all have something there. It might be sinful anger, bitterness, greed, lust, unloving impatience, rebellious defiance, covetousness, unjust ambition, untrusting fear, a fondness for gossip, a complaintive attitude, or some other root for sin. As you discover your heart's deepest need, approach God with total transparency and ask him to change it for you. "Lord," you might start, "I need you to change the impatience in my heart," as an example, "so I could be more gracious toward the people around me, just like Christ."
I can't guarantee much in this life, but I can guarantee this: the more we approach God with honest and humble self-awareness, the more we open our hearts to his transformative work within us.
Scripture for Meditation
"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions... Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." (Psalm 51:1-3, 10)
Father in heaven, you already know all my circumstances and needs. You also already know the thing that has been hidden in my heart lately. Please remove it and make me more like Christ, for your honor and glory. Amen.