(Occasionally, I feel compelled to share with you from my personal prayer journal. This one I fearfully offer. Be gentle, you’re holding my heart.)
When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him; and there was a leper who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Matthew 8:1-3
Lord, the way this leper trusts you has always amazed me. He models detachment. He’s a leper, he desires to be made clean he knows you have the power to do so, yet, he doesn’t demand it or hold you ransom. He strikes no bargains; just lays his request before you and lets you give him what you will.
Boy, that’s hard. In theory, he’s my hero and I want to follow his example. But in reality I am attached to the outcome. I want to write useful material for your people. You could use me if you choose. I kneel before you, risking my request. Give words through me or not. Help me remain at your feet. Amen.
God, you are quick to respond. You spoke practical things I can do to remain in the trusting position for which I long. It seems God says the same thing over and again to the Israelites (and by extension me.) I guess they needed to hear it more than once. Their hard hearts needed retraining, new ways of being and believing. So does mine.
In summary, from Deuteronomy 7:
- God will give you success. Success for me is measured by my continued listening during my prayer time, capturing the words in my journal and sharing them with my friends. I can cooperate with God by faithfully showing up each morning, and without self-judgement offer the words formed in my heart.
- You must destroy existing idols, you’ll suffer unnecessarily if you don’t. Among the idols I must destroy are perfection, competition, jealousy because others seem more “successful” than I am. I can pray that God uproots this prideful selfishness and grows humility and love in my heart.
- You are God’s chosen, not because of your strength or beauty (inflated ego) but just because God loves you. I am not the best writer, but I express the impressions the Spirit of God has written on my heart. I am loved and chosen by God, I do not need to impress others or myself.
- You have been set free to obey, do so and blessings abound. Like God’s word which does not return void, God speaking through my unique voice will be a blessing, at least to me, if to no one else, because I have been faithful to God’s call for me.
- Do not focus on your lack (deflated ego), but on God’s power. I am not the worst writer, God has given me gifts of communication and opportunities to practice and hone my skills. It is God’s grace and love that works in me and flows through my writings.
Sound familiar? Does it resonant with your experience? I’d like to hear your thoughts.
With you on the journey,
Thank you for your sincerity, Debby. I think we all find ourselves asking God to do something great through us…though oftentimes we cling to a selfish expectation as to what that looks like. Surrender is essential for salvation and it is surrender that entrusts the outcome into God’s hands. When God does a work through us, it is always more than we could have asked. In verse 3 of your passage above, Jesus does the unthinkable: he *touches* this leper. This man hadn’t been touched in God knows how long, and when he asked to be healed, Jesus healed with a touch…the very thing he’d been craving. God knows the true desire of our heart. When we trust him and long for him over what he can give us, we will find the desire of our heart fulfilled.
As usual, your additional insight to the scripture enriches and expands the experience. Thank you.
Thank you deb. your words are heard and needed
Sent from my iPhone
And Debby, I’m continually amazed that you don’t seem to know how powerfully God speaks through you. That every time you write, it seems a direct answer to what I’ve been asking God. Every time. I was thinking about you this week and asking God to help me hear him like you hear him. I want to write and offer his words of life and love to others, as well. Wondering how. Again, your post speaks right to this.
We’ve been looking for churches up here, and they disappoint; all missing the quality of life, the vibrance that God so clearly pours through you. I am so grateful you’re writing again. God’s words through you encourage me so much and fortify me to get out there in the day.
So way to go! You’re very humble. I pray God shores you up with peace and rest.
If God has put such a ministry on your heart, there will be ways to see it realized. You are a gifted communicator, your gifts and skills will not go unused. Blessings.
Thank you for writing this! Recently, the Lord has given me the verse Jonah 2:8, ““Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.”
Until recently I didn’t realize that I had idols.
Hello Ann, and thank you for contributing to the community. It’s amazing, isn’t it how subtle those idols can be? They hide as normal behavior, or the way it’s always been. May God’s grace grant you grace as you learn to trust God more than yourself.