What happened?

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Cross at sunset

Then they offered peace offerings to the Lord, and Saul and all the Israelites were filled with joy. … But now your (Saul’s) kingdom must end… — I Samuel 11, 13:7-14

I don’t really mind assembling furniture. It takes a little time, but it feels good when it’s all done.

There are times, however, when an assembly starts well with all the pieces accounted for and the bags of screws and bolts are all neatly labeled. The pieces are all there. Step 1 is smooth sailing.

Then it happens. Five steps later, the whole project is upside down and inside out.

Somehow, somewhere the assembly didn’t line up with the instructions. I’m left with no choice but to disassemble the whole mess and start all over.

Strong start. Weak finish.

This phenomenon is not limited to furniture assembly.

It’s actually an unfortunately common reality in many Bible stories including King Saul.

He had it all together when the starting gun sounded — obedience, faith, courage, and a genuine heart for God and his people.

It’s inspiring to read until the wheels come off.

His first great victory was short lived, especially in Saul’s own mind. He forgot. He lost focus. He looked around instead of up.

By the time the dust settled, he was out of a job.

There are so few Biblical examples of people who both start and finish well. And even fewer who don’t have some type of crash and burn in the middle somewhere.

Curious, it’s almost as if they’re people just like you and me.

A single snapshot rarely, if ever, tells the whole story.

We don’t have to get stuck in one.

A life story flows with many plot twists and turns. We can take different paths that lead to different places, better places.

Our feet will follow our eyes.

So, who or what are your eyes fixed upon these days?

Sent

He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means: sent). So the man went and washed and came back seeing!” — John 9:1-41

I wish I were better at running errands.

I’ve certainly improved over the years, but I still have plenty of room to grow.

My wife will ask me to stop at a few different places for very specific items at each one and then drop something at so-and-so’s house on the way home.

It’s not brain surgery, but I still miss something from time to time.

I want to improve because I want her trust in me to grow.

Being “sent” is a common theme throughout the pages of the Bible.

In our story for today, Jesus tells a man blind from birth to wash the mud off his eyes in the pool of Siloam. He obeys and is healed.

Shocked, those who knew him took him to the religious leaders where he gave an incredibly bold witness to what Jesus had done. He was faithful to that which he was sent to do.

Jesus’ great commission to his followers then and now begins with the word, “Go!”

Go is a mission word.

As God’s son was sent into the world to save the world, God still sends his children into the world today.

They’re sent to tell others what Jesus did for everyone and what he did in their life personally.

Our brother and formerly blind man shows us what that looks like.

“I was blind. I now see. The only thing that came between those two was Jesus.”

Wiles is senior minister of Fall Creek Christian Church in Pendleton. He can be reached at 765-778-3166.