That’s typically not the word I think of when contemplating a miracle Jesus performed, but there’s one exception.
In John 9:1-11 Jesus goes over to a blind man without being asked, and then He spits into the dust and makes some mud paste, which He rubs onto the man’s eyes. (Imagine someone praying for your healing and doing something like this.) The blind man feels the fingers of the teacher on his eyes as the crowd looks on in wonder.
What’s the Miracle Maker going to do?
And then …
Jesus just tells the guy to go wash the mud off in a pool called Siloam, which means “sent” (John 9:7).
The crowd must have walked away feeling disappointed, but what about the blind man? Jesus didn’t even tell him that he would be healed. He just told him to wash his eyes, which I imagine he wanted to do anyway.
The thing that really gets me is the man’s trip to the pool. I don’t know if someone guided him or if he just stumbled through the crowd asking for directions, but either way, he wasn’t healed yet.
Many of us feel like that blind man at that point in the story. We’re in desperate need and we haven’t gotten our miracle yet. And in response, Jesus gives us a command that often seems as pointless as washing our face in a pool: Remain persistent in prayer, even when God doesn’t come through, “and [do] not lose heart” (Luke 18:1-8).
That in-between time is hard for us to bear though. We sense the disappointment of those around us who had hoped Jesus would perform an instant miracle, and we are twice as disappointed as they are. We have to live with our unanswered prayers and blindly find the way to our own pool of Siloam without even getting a promise from Jesus as to what will happen.
The journey to the pool is so much longer than it was for the blind man, but it does not have to be a hopeless one. Though we stumble forward in the dark, we can press on with the same hope he had. If Jesus told us to keep asking and praying for our own miracle, we can trust that it’s for a purpose — that He will eventually open our eyes to what He was up to all along.