Have you been asked to do something you were fully capable of doing, but you just didn’t want to do it? It may occur more often than we’d like to admit. Without considering the root of the request or the circumstances of the one requesting, we hastily—and perhaps selfishly—respond with unwillingness, even though we are perfectly able to perform what was asked.
Jesus provides an excellent picture of willingness. Mark 1:40-42 (NASB) says:
And a man with leprosy came to Jesus, imploring Him and kneeling down, and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out with His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.
The man sought out Jesus, knowing He could heal him. But he questioned if Jesus would heal him. Jesus did not condemn the man for coming to Him, nor for doubting Jesus’ willingness. Instead, He boldly reached out to the sick man with tenderness and compassion. Seemingly unconcerned about the contagiousness or severity of the disease, Jesus accepted the man, touched him, and cleansed him.
Have you ever questioned God’s willingness to meet with you? Help you? Rescue you? Cleanse you? Heal you? Sometimes we become overwhelmed with the details of our detrimental situation, or the shamefulness of our choices, or the impossibility of victory through our circumstances. We think there is no way God would meet us in that dark place. And even if He did, He surely would not be willing to help us.
However, we cannot judge God’s character through the lens of our experiences and sufferings. We must look to the scriptures, the Word of God, and the life of Jesus to know Him. As we grow in the knowledge of who He is, our trust in Him grows.
God is perfect in all His ways, and He is love! He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and moved with compassion toward us. He knows our hearts, the measure of our faith, our failures, doubts, struggles, and desires. And even in knowing the good, the bad, and the ugly about each of us, He is forever willing to cleanse us, just as He cleansed the leprous man.
Hebrews 13:8 (NASB) states:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever.
You are not alone in your sickness or in your suffering; in your weakness or in your exhaustion. Jesus cares. He is with you and He is for you. Come to Him, just as the sick man did. You are accepted. Receive the compassion of Jesus as He moves upon your heart. Know He is not only able, but willing to meet with you right where you are: to cleanse you, heal you, love you, and restore you.
Jesus is the same today as He was in this encounter with this doubting man. His compassion for you is unfailing. He is willing and able to help you. He is the Father of lights, the Giver of every good gift, Savior, Healer, Deliverer, and Love eternal for you.
Holding Fast to Hope,