Blind spots

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Cross at sunset

You hoped for rich harvests, but they were poor. And when you brought your harvest home, I blew it away. Why? Because my house lies in ruins, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, while all of you are building your own fine houses. — Haggai

“Who’s honking?!” I asked more than a little annoyed.

I looked around and was mortified to see next to me a car in the shoulder I nearly ran off the road when I changed lanes.

It’s happened to all of us, hasn’t it? Or, at least to enough of us the newer cars have a flashing symbol on the side view mirror to warn us.

Of what? A car in our blind spot.

I do not want to know how many accidents and how many people have lost their lives because of drivers’ blind spots.

The prophet Haggai reveals to the people of Israel and to us that blind spots are not just a reality while driving.

The people who returned to Jerusalem from exile occupied their time with building nice homes, planting crops and accumulating herds.

This, while they kept walking around the debris of God’s destroyed temple.

As a result, God withheld the rain and they seriously struggled.

God then sent Haggai to tell them to get his house in order before theirs. They obeyed and God promised his blessing.

We all have them, blind spots of all kinds.

We have relational blind spots, emotional blind spots, mental blind spots, talent/gifting blind spots, attitude blind spots and to Haggai’s specific point, spiritual blind spots.

Have you ever wondered why life at times feels like a non-stop pushing of the ball uphill?

Why breakthroughs remain elusive?

Why prayers seem hindered?

Why relationships flounder?

Why affirmation doesn’t come?

Why peace is overrun by confusion and frustration?

Perhaps it’s time we start asking Jesus as well as trusted godly people in our lives if there’s a blind spot or two that we desperately need to address.

A fountain

Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the family of David and on the people of Jerusalem. They will look on me whom they have pierced and mourn for him as for an only son. They will grieve bitterly for him as for a firstborn son who has died…On that day a fountain will be opened for the dynasty of David and for the people of Jerusalem, a fountain to cleanse them from all their sins and impurity. — Zechariah 12, 13

After a few days of ultimate frisbee, crawling through caves, sitting by smoky fires, playing football, and battling it out during capture the flag, all while camping out under tarps in the midsummer humidity of Indiana, one is in desperate need of cleansing.

There was no chance I was driving all those guys home smelling like they and I did.

Before leaving, we strategically planned a stop at the state park’s waterfall — a wonderful nonstop fountain of water to deal with all manner of foul smells and odors.

God, through the prophet Zechariah, reveals to the people of Israel and to us that he has prepared a fountain. It’s unlike any other fountain. It does not deal with the needs of physical thirst or physical cleansing; it deals with the much bigger need of spiritual cleansing.

This fountain cleanses one of sin and impurity, all that interferes with a relationship with God.

Here, hundreds of years before Jesus, God tells us this fountain is established when he himself is pierced.

When we decide to turn our eyes to the one who was pierced, grieve our sin, and turn to him for cleansing, the promise of being identified as part of God’s people will be realized.

We can then say, “The Lord is our God!”

O, what joy lies ahead for the descendants of Abraham! O, what joy is ours now after our trip to the fountain!

I hope you have been there.

I hope the joy of being released of guilt and shame never leaves your heart and mind.

I hope the grief of seeing the one pierced steels your resolve, with his Spirit’s help, to stay far, far away from all the sins and impurities that required his piercing.

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