October 06, 2007

A Pain-filled Preface

Luke 5:12-16

"I am willing ... Be clean!"

—  Luke 5:13

When life brings nothing but rejection, misery, and pain, it's easy to doubt that God wants to heal you. Per­haps that's how the lonely leper felt as he saw Jesus com­ing. He couldn't simply request Jesus' help, as others had done (see Luke 4:38-40). He began with a pain-filled preface: "If you are willing ..."

Let's not read too much into his words, but let's at least recognize that this man had plenty of reason to be­gin with "If ..." The life of a leper was marked by total isolation; the constant threat of disfigurement from the loss of fingers, toes, hands, and feet; and the prejudicial label "Unclean." Such a person gets used to expecting nothing from everyone. A person who lives like that gets used to expecting nothing from life! It was natural for him to wonder if he could expect anything-even from Jesus. So he began his plea with "If ..."

But Jesus reached out and touched this man! Jesus' hope-inspiring words to this skeptical sufferer were "I am willing." Then he said, "Be clean!" And the man who had been known far and wide simply as "unclean" was instantly healed!

Have you ever said "If ..." to God? I'm guessing that you probably have-maybe more than once. Be assured: God is willing. He will heal your diseases too, in his perfect time according to his perfect plan.

Your grace, love, joy, peace, and righteousness--grant us these gifts, O loving God! Thank you for your willingness to heal us in all the ways we need to be healed. Amen.

About the author — David Den Haan

Pastor Dave Den Haan has served at Fairway Christian Reformed Church in Jenison, Michigan, since 1999. Previously he served a church in Minnesota. Dave and his wife, Connie, have three children.

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