And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Matthew 8:3
In the last devotional we saw a miraculous healing. Jesus was willing; the man was healed.
Fast forward to Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion. In agony, He prays, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)
We all know how this story ends. Jesus dies a brutal death. God could have removed the cup. Jesus could have saved Himself. But Jesus was the one willing… willing to die for us on his own accord. It had a purpose. It was a bigger and better plan…the only one that could save us.
In 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 Paul recalls… “ So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Three times Paul pleads for healing. But the suffering continues. It had a purpose. To keep Paul humble and to demonstrate God’s power.
It is tempting to look at the leper’s story in Matthew and declare, “Yes! The Lord is willing. We will ALWAYS be healed if we sincerely come to Him and ask.” The truth is, in this human, temporary realm on earth, we may not be. The Lord is able, but due to surpassing knowledge we can’t yet see, it doesn’t always happen. Not because He doesn’t love us – He loved His Son and He loved Paul – but because He sees a bigger plan.
God wants us to love Him and follow Him, not because we will always get what we want, but because He is worthy. Healing or not, God loves us and has good plans for us. He sees the bigger picture and it is so very good.
Questions: Can you trust God even when the healing doesn’t come? Do you still believe in His goodness and love for you and sovereignty?