I love this little story at the end of Mark 10:
46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. 51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” 52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
Here’s a thought. What if Bartimaeus would have stopped after the first ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’. I’m sure it was tempting because the crowd around him ‘rebuked him and told him to be quiet.’ They basically tried to discourage him, to not bother Jesus and that it was no use. What if he would have listened to them? He would have remained blind.
But……he didn’t listen. It says that ‘he shouted all the more.’ Through his passion and persistence and refusal to be quiet, he got the attention of Jesus. His voice was heard, his eyes were opened and his life was forever changed.
I think about how many times in my life I listen to the ‘nay-sayers’ and give up too easily. So often I lack the perseverance of Bartimaeus. So many times I allow the voice of the crowd to influence me more than that still small voice of God’s Spirit beckoning me to step out in faith. What is God putting on your heart today? Are you and I willing to let the discouraging and critical words of the crowd bounce right off of us? Will we be resilient in our pursuit of Jesus and ‘shout all the more’ as we chase after Him today?