In his book Morning Devotions, Tom Wallace tells the following story:
Everybody’s heart went out to the little lady who hobbled through the waiting room of one of our local doctors. She was bent over like a horseshoe. A short cane kept her from toppling over. Her face bore the burden of her bent body. In just a few minutes she came out with a big smile beaming on her face. Her joy was evident. She walked tall with shoulders erect. “Amazing,” said one. “A miracle,” said another.”
The next person called in asked, “Doctor, we all saw that poor old woman go in there all bent over and then we all saw her come out straightened up, walking briskly with a big smile. What did you do to her?” “I really didn’t do much for her,” the doctor stated. “I just gave her a longer cane.”
Everyone enjoys a simple solution to a problem. We want it clean. We want it clear cut. I have to admit, though, that my dealings with the Lord have taught me that simple solutions aren’t always the way He rolls. For example, in John 9:1-7 Jesus restores a blind man’s sight by means of a rather complicated procedure. First, He spits on the ground and uses the saliva to make mud. Second, He rubs the mud on the man’s eyes. Third, He tells the man to go wash himself in the pool of Siloam. The Bible doesn’t even identify precisely when the man actually receives his sight in that whole process. All we’re told is that he went and washed, and came back seeing.
A similar story is found in Mark 8:22-26. For the healing in that instance, Jesus begins by taking the man by the hand and leading him out of town. Then Jesus spits on the man’s eyes, puts His hands of him, and asks him if he sees anything. The man answers, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” Finally, Jesus puts His hands on the man’s eyes a second time, and at that point the man’s vision is perfectly restored.
I guess we might say that Jesus did provide the simplest solutions in each of these cases of blindness. In other words, He cured the blindness. But we’d be lying if we said that He provided those simple solutions simply. No, what He did in each situation was work through multilayered processes to bring about the solution. As for why He chose to work that way, He no doubt had His reasons. I particularly like Bible teacher John MacArthur’s suggestion that Jesus making the mud in the John chapter 9 story might have hearkened back to the time when He had created Adam out of the dust of the ground. As MacArthur theorizes, “Jesus may have used the clay (mud) to fashion a new pair of eyes.” Taking that possibility a bit further, if the man had been born without any eyeballs, Jesus using the mud to literally build two new ones would have made perfect sense.
Perhaps right now you find yourself faced with a serious problem, and you need the Lord to provide you with a solution. Naturally, you’d love for that solution to be a simple one. And maybe it will be. After all, I certainly don’t mean to imply that God’s solutions are always complex. With that said, though, don’t be surprised if a solution that you thought would be as simple as a touch or a word turns into a process involving spit and mud. During such times patience will be required on your part, and you’ll have to trust the Lord’s expertise concerning your problem. But if you will stick with Him, He will, in His timing, deliver your solution to your door. You might have to walk around seeing that solution through blurry eyes for a bit, but in the end your vision will clear up and you will see things exactly the way He wants you to see them. So, hang in there, trust the process, and let the Lord work you through whatever He wants to work you through in order to bring you to that solution that has your name on it. Rest assured, it really will be worth the wait.