I’m not sure how many times I’ve read through this passage, but for the first time, these two words leapt off the page:

“And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.”

– Mark 10:49

Jesus stopped. [We’ll come back to this, but let’s back up a bit.]

Jesus is about to leave Jericho, and a blind man named Bartimaeus begins crying out when he sees Him, begging Jesus to have mercy on him. The crowds try to keep him quiet, but Bartimaeus kept crying out. And Jesus stopped.

Jesus was on His way out of town. His mission was important. Looking at the timeline, He was passing through Jericho on His way to Jerusalem… to be crucified. But when Bartimaeus cried out to Him in faith, Jesus stopped.

And this morning when I read it, I felt like He stopped for me too.

Even though this past year has caused a slower pace across most areas of life, I’m somehow just as exhausted because it never seems to stop… maybe you can relate?  Between the blurred lines of home, school, and work, plus the general heaviness of everyday decisions that used to be simple and the really hard things people you know and love are dealing with…it’s a lot.

Like Bartimaeus, I’ve cried out to Jesus multiple times every day. But I’ll be honest: I think I’ve come to my Bible in sheer desperation mode most days. And there’s a good desperation we should have for God that realizes truly that apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5). But I think my “quiet time” lately has felt more like an ambulance ride to the ER with sirens blaring and adrenaline racing than me stopping to spend time with God because when I call to Him, He’ll stop for me.

Intimacy with God, for me, has always grown in life’s valleys. Some of the hardest seasons I’ve walked through have given me some of my sweetest moments with Jesus. But it’s possible to enjoy God in the valley, too. It may not be as natural, but unnatural doesn’t mean unnecessary.

And look how Bartimaeus responds to Jesus’ call to come: “Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus” (Mark 10:50).

Why is the detail of the cloak so important? Because as a blind man, for provision, he would have had to result to begging. And a cloak was a requirement to be able to beg. So he didn’t just toss aside a coat because he was hot. Tossing aside that cloak was risking his security. Coming to Jesus was an act of full surrender, and he didn’t do it hesitantly. He jumped.

There’s not another thing you could do today that will bring you relief than making the choice to jump to Jesus and enjoy Him. Stop long enough to notice that He stopped for you. And stay as long as you can.

Want more of this convo? Michelle dug even deeper during this week’s class: Emptying Yourself vs. Living On Empty. We’d love to have you join our community.  (Joining swHw will give you instant access to the class recording and more like it. Learn more about what you get as a swHw member here.)