Down deep, many of us think that God’s blessings and healing are for other people, but He just isn’t willing to do it for us.
I confess I thought that way most of my life. I always questioned whether God WANTED to bless me with good relationships, understanding, financial stability, authority. I believed He didn’t want to use me because….well, there was something in me that caused Him to overlook me.
For that last year or so I have experienced such freedom as God has taught me otherwise. Still, old habits die hard and occasionally something happens that sends me into a full-on pity party and I question God’s willingness to use me.
A few days ago, my pity party was well under way, complete with tears and whining and yelling at God. It wasn’t a fun party so I grabbed my Bible and threw it open – not caring what I read, I just needed to shift my thinking.
It wasn’t expecting much in my time reading, but it didn’t take long before I came across three words that stopped me in my tracks: I Am Willing. I grabbed my pen and started writing…
And behold, a leper came and worshipped Him, saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” (Matt 8:2-3. Emphasis mine.)
This man’s cry was more than a request to be healed of a disease. Jesus could have easily spoken the words “be cleansed”, went on His way, and the man would have been healed of his disease. However, Jesus did two things before healing him:
Jesus Touched Him
No one had touched this man since he contracted the disease! Imagine no one wanting to touch you. I’m sure the homeless feel this way…rarely feeling a tender or caring touch. Jesus didn’t have to touch this man. In fact, to do so would make him unclean according to the Jewish Law. A tender touch can melt away hard hearts, years of pain, and erase bitterness – especially a touch from Jesus.
This touch went above what the man expected. How much do we realize that God is a good Father and wants to exceed our expectations? He wants to touch us. Look up and see the amazing attention the Father gives!
Jesus Stated He Was Willing
Jesus said, “I am willing”. The biggest question this man had was, “Are you willing to take time to notice me and heal me?”
Isn’t that what we all want to know?
Lepers were outcasts, unclean, untouchable, rejected by society, friends, and family. Many of us struggle with feeling rejected and even unusable. As a Christian, we may know we are saved, but remain in the shadows because we can’t seem to fit in anywhere. Our past may render us “unworthy” in the eyes of the church, other believers – especially ourselves. All of us have a strong desire to be relevant.
We long for our parents, pastors, bosses, leaders, friends, spouses to see gifts, talents and potential in us. Yet, so many experience situation where they are not even noticed. You may even feel like no one would notice or miss you if you stopped attending church or work.
Whatever it is, there are many people who feel unlovable, forgettable, unnoticed, unusable, or have a hard time that God Himself would be willing to use “someone like me”.
That’s what this story is about. The man with leprosy wanted to be healed, but even more, he wanted to know if Jesus was willing. Did Jesus see him as a person? Would Jesus want to give him time and attention? Jesus went above and beyond because He saw the real need. This man wanted to be loved, valued, and noticed – as a person – not as a leper.
Hear me: God SEES you. He LOVES you. God IS willing to bless you and heal you! Meditate on these verses and let God Himself tell you how much you mean to Him!
By the time Jesus spoke, “be cleansed”, I think the man realized that being healed of leprosy was nothing compared to the attention of the Son of God.
Father, thank you for Your attention. Thank you for Your love. I realize that You see me. I am important to You. Praise you for Your gentle touch and Your patience in my moments of doubt, unbelief, and self-pity. Glorious are you Lord! You are a good, good Father.
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