A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed. (Mark 1:40-42 NLT)
Is that the way you imagine God responding to your pleas for help? Has that been your experience so far? Reaching out to God and hearing Him say to you,
“I am willing”
What about becoming a child of that same God and responding to the pleas that you surely hear all around you in this same way?
What if instead of saying…
…I’m not sure I have time
…I can’t solve that particular problem
…I shouldn’t get into your business like that
…I don’t really know you that well
What if instead of saying what comes to mind first, what makes sense, what is safest, we let God’s Spirit within us speak. What if we listened first to that still, small voice. What if the Spirit desired to say through you to someone else, “I am willing”?
Who knows where the time, resources or emotional courage will come from, but I’m going to follow the Spirit here – and have faith that whatever is needed, He will supply.
In this story of Jesus healing a leper (the type of social outcast who probably suffered more than any other) He not only declares His willingness to change the man’s life forever, he demonstrated to everyone looking how willing He really was. Jesus reached out and touched the leper. This was illegal and would make Jesus unclean as well. But Jesus was willing…to break the rules.
Jesus touches the man first. Who knows when this outcast had ever been touched before. Now, in front of everyone who normally looked away, Jesus reached out and touched him. What do you imagine he must have felt? What must the gathered crowd have thought? Jesus was willing…to demonstrate how deeply God loved His children.
There were several works of healing that took place that day. The leper was made physically well. His place in society was restored (Jesus commanded him to follow the rules about being declared healed). As important as anything else, he was healed as a person – his worth was acknowledge by the Son of God in front of everyone. Jesus was willing…to reach out and heal the inner wounds that mattered as much.
These days I keep going back to that command from Paul to the church in Galatia…
“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
Over the past several years, I’ve had so many people demonstrate “I am willing” as they’ve helped me carry burdens right and left. For me, all these loved one’s have demonstrated the law of Christ – they have loved God and loved me, not with words but with their actions. Not an idea, but a certainty.
That kind of love makes it easy to say over and over again, “I am willing.”