A Touch and a Word

And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.’ And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, ‘I will; be clean.’ And immediately his leprosy was cleansed…

“When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him,  ‘Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.’ And he said to him, ‘I will come and heal him. But the centurion replied, ‘Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed….’ When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, ‘Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith…’  And to the centurion Jesus said, ‘Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.’ And the servant was healed at that very moment.” Matthew 8:2-3,5-8,10,13

A leper wracked in discomfort and shame as an outcast, and a noted commander torn inside by his suffering, paralyzed servant. Both men had great reason for angst, and could have demanded sympathy. The leper had every reason for self-pity, and the centurion for deserving the special treatment. But each knew enough about Jesus to approach Him reverently and trust Him for more, and exercised simple, bold faith in doing so. We read of no fretting, no extraneous expensive alternative efforts, no pomp and show for favored attention, only straightforward requests directed at the One they believed could do anything. And with a touch, and a word, He did the glorious impossible. (Job 42:2)

Our issues and personal concerns can grow so big they fill up all the space in our attention and capacity for care. They can take on a life of their own, crowding out reasonable responses and optimism with fretting and fear. But our Lord knows and understands each pang of the heart, each obstacle we perceive as insurmountable, and can tend to it with a touch, or a word. What is huge to us is small (and precious) to our infinite God. There is nothing too messy for His touch to cleanse or heal, nothing impossible for the breath of His mouth to dissipate or resolve. (Mark 10:27)

When we are entrenched in difficulties- relational, physical, financial, emotional- do we get tourqued up with sweat and effort trying to solve and fix on our own? Do we rattle on and whine about ills rather than tending to them? Do we give up, or shrug off, or choose to ignore issues we should be taking to Jesus? He delights to hear, and help. He rides the skies to come to our aid. In love He touches the worst and speaks into our angst to bring healing, wisdom, clarity, and calm. (Deuteronomy 33:26)

How regularly do we come, kneel, and ask what God will do? For whom, and what dire situations, are we appealing to the Lord for the powerful intervention of His word? And whom are we telling about the marvelous ways He has met and ministered to us that only He could do?

Lord, You offer so much that is mine for the asking. May You always be my first line of appeal, and my only One to praise.

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