A man with leprosy came and knelt before Jesus
and said, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.”Jesus reached out and touched him saying, “I
am willing” (Matt 8:1-4)
My heart collided with those four simple words…”IF You are willing…”How many times have I asked those same words
in my most secret place, not even able to verbalize it most of the time.I KNOW God is willing to do it for others,
but ME; if- that small word that holds so many feelings in its two letters.Am I worth it?Would You do it for me?Am I good enough to be noticed?Or am I too messed up?Am I even important enough?
In biblical times, leprosy caused one to be an
outcast, alone, unwanted, unclean.For
us, leprosy might represent our sin, our brokenness, our messed up lives.
So will I come like this boldly fearing leper and
kneel at the feet of my Father, asking, “IF you are willing, You can clean me
up” or will I let the crowds, the “friends”, yelling “unclean” intimidate me,
keeping me away.Will the fear of a “no”
answer keep me an outcast?
So often I have asked, “IF You are willing…”
expecting a “no” answer because of the way I see myself.I wonder if this leper was scared to death to
ask or was he desperate enough because he had nothing to lose and everything to
He asked and Jesus reached out and touched him- touched him knowing that
leprosy is highly contagious.Oh how we
long for such a touch, someone willing to touch our messy, contagious
places.The touch of love and then to
hear, “I am willing!”His heart must
have missed a few beats at hearing those precious words, “I am willing”.
I wonder if we were still long enough if we’d
hear the same words, “I am willing”.We
get noisy rehearsing why we are not worthy, why we don’t deserve His attention,
let alone His touch.We are noisy…
because we are afraid…
Will you join me on my knees in front of Jesus…
quietly listening?Do you hear the gentle
voice, “I am willing!I am willing to
clean you up”!
The prison cell is locked.You stand holding the key- trying to decide
if you’ll insert it.You know it’s the
key to freedom but…. Freedom is risky.Maybe it would be better to stay in the cell, at least you know what to
expect, even though you are miserable.
God stands outside, longing for you to open the
door, to invite Him in, to make space for Him.He won’t force it but He invites you to trust Him.He understands how hard that is.BUT IT IS YOUR CHOICE.
Yes, opening that door is risky.But will you join me in choosing to believe
that inserting the key will bring a life we’ve only dreamed of…. that it
will bring a love we have craved?
I can almost see it.The word spreads quickly through the
city.Her world is being shaken by an unforeseen
storm.What will she do?
Quietly, as though not to disturb the holy
moment, everyone hurries to their feet and peers over the cloudy edge… watching…holding
their breath… waiting to see what she will do.
Slowly, as with one voice, under their breath,
they start to implore, “Come on, you can do it.Come on, you CAN do it” repeatedly.As the storm lashes on, the chant becomes louder until it becomes very
audible… wanting her to hold on… to trust the Son who has been holding her in
She doesn’t see it; she doesn’t feel it; she
doesn’t hear it. She must just trust ….
as heaven stands…… waiting….
was inspired by Your Hands by JJ Heller