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When God Sighed by: Max Lucado

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When God Sighed by:  Max Lucado Empty When God Sighed by: Max Lucado

Post  Admin on Sat 04 Sep 2010, 3:44 pm

When God Sighed
by Max Lucado

Two days ago I read a word in the Bible that has since taken up residence in
my heart.
To be honest, I didn't quite know what to do with it. It's only one word,
and not a very big one at that. When I ran across the word, (which, by the
way,
is exactly what happened; I was running through the passage and this word
came out of nowhere and bounced me like a speed bump) I didn't know what to
do
with it. I didn't have any hook to hang it on or category to file it under.
It was an enigmatic word in an enigmatic passage. But now, forty-eight hours
later, I have found a place for it, a place all its own. My, what a word it
is. Don't read it unless you don't mind changing your mind, because this
little word might move your spiritual furniture around a bit.
Look at the passage with me.
Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea
of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. There some people brought
a man to him who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to
place his hand on the man.
After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the
man's ears. Then he spit and touched the man's tongue. He looked up to
heavenand with a deep sigh said to him,
"Ephphatha!" (which means, "Be opened!"). At this, the man's ears were
opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. (Mark
7:31-35)
Quite a passage, isn't it?
Jesus is presented with a man who is deaf and has a speech impediment.
Perhaps he stammered. Maybe he spoke with a lisp. Perhaps, because of his
deafness, he never learned to articulate words properly.
Jesus, refusing to exploit the situation, took the man aside. He looked him
in the face. Knowing it would be useless to talk, he explained what he was
aboutto do through gestures. He spat and touched the man's tongue, telling him
that whatever restricted his speech was about to be removed. He touched his
ears. They, for the first time, were about to hear.
But before the man said a word or heard a sound, Jesus did something I never
would have anticipated.
He sighed.
I might have expected a clap or a song or a prayer. Even a "Hallelujah! " or
a brief lesson might have been appropriate. But the Son of God did none of
these.
Instead, he paused, looked into heaven, and sighed. From the depths of his
being came a rush of emotion that said more than words.
Sigh. The word seemed out of place.
I'd never thought of God as one who sighs. I'd thought of God as one who
commands. I'd thought of God as one who weeps. I'd thought of God as one who
called forth the dead with a command or created the universe with a word ... but a
God who sighs?
Perhaps this phrase caught my eye because I do my share of sighing.
I sighed yesterday when I visited a lady whose invalid husband had
deteriorated so much he didn't recognize me. He thought I was trying to sell
him something.
I sighed when the dirty-faced, scantily dressed, six-year-old girl in the
grocery store asked me for some change.
And I sighed today listening to a husband tell how his wife won't forgive
him.
No doubt you've done your share of sighing.
If you have teenagers, you've probably sighed. If you've tried to resist
temptation, you've probably sighed. If you've had your motives questioned or
your
best acts of love rejected, you have been forced to take a deep breath and
let escape a painful sigh.
I realize there exists a sigh of relief, a sigh of expectancy, and even a
sigh of joy. But that isn't the sigh described in Mark 7. The sigh described
is
a hybrid of frustration and sadness. It lies somewhere between a fit of
anger and a burst of tears.
The apostle Paul spoke of this sighing. Twice he said that Christians will
sigh as long as we are on earth and long for heaven. The creation sighs as
if she were giving birth. Even the Spirit sighs as he interprets our prayers.
(Romans 8:22-27)
All these sighs come from the same anxiety; a recognition of pain that was
never intended, or of hope deferred.
Man was not created to be separated from his creator; hence he sighs,
longing for home. The creation was never intended to be inhabited by evil;
hence she sighs, yearning for the Garden. And conversations with God were never
intended to depend on a translator; hence the Spirit groans on our behalf,
looking to a day when humans will see God face to face.
And when Jesus looked into the eyes of Satan's victim, the only appropriate
thing to do was sigh. "It was never intended to be this way," the sigh said.
"Your ears weren't made to be deaf, your tongue wasn't made to stumble." The
imbalance of it all caused the Master to languish.
So, I found a place for the word. You might think it strange, but I placed
it beside the word comfort, for in an indirect way, God's pain is our
comfort.
When God Whispers Your Name
And in the agony of Jesus lies our hope. Had he not sighed, had he not felt
the burden for what was not intended, we would be in a pitiful condition.
Had he simply chalked it all up to the inevitable or washed his hands of the
whole stinking mess, what hope would we have?
But he didn't. That holy sigh assures us that God still groans for his
people. He groans for the day when all sighs will cease, when what was
intended to be will be.
From
God Came Near: Chronicles of the Christ
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 1999) Max Lucado
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