The Hidden Idols of Comfort and Convenience
Updated: Feb 24, 2020
Life in the Head household has been a bit stressful this month. Last Monday, I created a list of things I hoped to accomplish for the week – last minute preparations for an upcoming trip, writing for another website, concert prep for two events later on in the school semester, and time to hopefully rest from this sinus infection that is kicking my tail.
I accomplished nothing on my list.
Instead, I was met with various circumstances that required me to shift my schedule to meet other's needs. Regardless if it was Eleanor throwing off my morning routine or a mishap at school, the small inconveniences of the week were met with annoyance and anger.
Thankfully, the Holy Spirit was quick to convict me of my sin. I saw that God was using these unforeseen circumstances to reveal the idols that I had hidden in the deepest crevices of my heart – namely, the idols of comfort and convenience. Instead of taking on the form of a servant like our Lord Jesus did, I sought my own agenda.
Amy Carmichael says in her book If, "If interruptions annoy me, and private cares make me impatient; if I shadow others because I myself am shadowed, then I know nothing of Calvary love."
This quote kept circulating in my mind all week. Situations would arise that would require me to forsake my plans. When I felt frustration well up in my heart, I would stop and ask myself, "Why do I feel this way? Why am I becoming irritated by the needs of others? Why is my heart not moved by the compassion of the Gospel to lay down my schedule for the betterment of my neighbor?"
Later in the week, the Holy Spirit brought to mind a passage in Mark that we had recently studied in our middle school girls Sunday school class. Mark 10:46-52 says,
46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" 49 And Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." And they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take heart. Get up; he is calling you." 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus said to him, "What do you want me to do for you?" And the blind man said to him, "Rabbi, let me recover my sight."52 And Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well." And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.
What great compassion Jesus shows here. Christ is leaving Jericho with his disciples, beginning the long and tiring journey to Jerusalem, where he will give his life as a ransom for many. Bartimaeus, a poor and blind beggar, hears of Jesus's passing and calls out to him. The response of the crowd was not kind. Bartimaeus was most likely marginalized and spent his days unnoticed by the people of Jericho. But when He calls out and asks Christ to have mercy on him - Jesus brought this caravan of onlookers to a screeching halt! Jesus does not look at the man as a nuance or inconvenience. Christ hears the cry of a man who is hurting and stops. And though the crowd wants to prevent this man from coming to Jesus, he tells them to bring him forward. Jesus quickly responds to the cry for grace and mercy from Bartimaeus saying, "Go your way; your faith has made you well." Not only was he physically healed that day, but more importantly, he was spiritually made new. And this God-given faith causes Bartimaeus to get up and follow Christ.
Jesus didn't have to stop that day. I can't imagine the weight that he was carrying, knowing he will soon give his life for the sins of his people. But Christ stopped for the one who called out to him in faith. He does this even today.
So this week, when your plans are threatened and you feel as though you won’t accomplish what needs to get done, remember Christ. Don't let frustration build in your heart that it leads you to sin. Remember how he stopped for a poor, blind, beggar man and had mercy on him. If you are a follower of Christ, remember how he had mercy on you that while you were still an enemy of God, Jesus died for you (Romans 5:6). Let that truth change the way you interact with your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. When circumstances change and something interrupts your day (because we all know it will) use it as a way to reflect the glory of the Gospel. Because we too were once like Bartimaeus, blinded by our sin. We brought nothing but our weakness and need, but Christ had mercy on us and gave us new life.