Beside the Well
I chose my blog title based on the Woman at the Well. Beside the well she found the water of life—the sustaining power. And, I loved the imagery of coming to the well daily to draw from that source.
Today, however, I found another picture that captured my imagination. It was Spurgeon saying, “The Lord has His own appointed ways. Sit by the wayside, and you will be ready when He passes by.” (p 622)
He was not referring to Blind Bartimaeus in the context of his devotion, but my mind linked the two. Spurgeon was admonishing us to not languish in our beds believing we can do nothing about our situations. Rather, we ought see our vulnerability and incapacity as goads that drive us to earnest prayer for God’s work in our lives—for a renewed spirit within us.
The word wayside creates the image of a dusty road lined by shallow ditches and bustling with travelers and pack animals. There, Spurgeon is telling us to sit. Sit in whatever condition we find ourselves. Sit by the wayside where things are taking place, where dust and muck may be thrown upon us, and where we are seen by those passing by.
That is not a pretty picture. I’m not too keen on the prospects! But think with me a moment. Had Bartimaeus been out wandering around, he would not have known Jesus was passing by. Had he not been sitting by the wayside for days prior, He would not have heard the tales of Jesus’ ability to restore sight to the blind. Had he not been by the wayside enduring the dirt and disrespect, he might not have considered his plight desperate enough to cry out for mercy.
When life gets tough, we want to hide. We shrivel up in our faith and go away from the wayside. Away from the dust, dirt and disrespect. Away from the jeers of those mocking us for our faith. Away from hearing testimonies of Jesus’ work in the lives of others. And, away from the potential of being ready when He passes by.
The miracle for Bartimaeus, and the miracle in our lives, is when the Creator of the universe stops and looks on a blind and lowly sinner beaten down by life on the wayside with the offer, “What wilt thou have me to do?”
Oh, Lord, help me to not look so much at the difficulties of the wayside, but to allow them to drive my heart to earnest prayer and expectation of your intervention.