On any given day my behavior makes my faith look a bit “iffy”. If I was spiritually strong, I’d depend on God’s grace to make better choices. Instead of boldly depending on the Spirit for strength, I often come to Jesus very tentatively, like the man with leprosy in Matthew 8:2.
And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
That’s a pretty “iffy” statement, don’t you think? What does he mean, “if you are willing”? Can’t you hear the questions oozing from that man’s “assertion”? There’s nothing in the Bible that tells us exactly what the leper was thinking, but maybe he had thoughts like:
- If you’re like everyone else, would you rather avoid me than heal me?
- If you really are the King, can you be bothered with someone as insignificant as me?
- If I trust you for healing – will you let me down like every other remedy I’ve tried?
Perhaps I read so much into the leper’s “statement” because I relate to him. I project my self-doubt onto my Savior. I let lies and guilt skew my view of the completely selfless, forgiving, compassionate God-man. I’m more focused on my imperfections than His perfection. My ”iffy” statements just take on a 2013, suburban-church-going mama tone:
- If your reputation is so important, wouldn’t you rather have someone more gracious than me working for you?
- If you know my every thought, are you sure you really want me?
Jesus could have answered, “What do you mean ‘IF’ I am willing to heal you? What do you think I came all the way from heaven to do? Why would I be here if you could take care of your own problems?”
But that kind of response would be out of character for our gentle Shepherd.
Instead He replied, “I am willing.”
Willing. God with us, Emmanuel, is willing.
Hallelujah! He is willing to embrace our ugliness so He can make us lovely. Willing to conquer our fears and blow past every man-made barricade between us and Him. Willing to sort out my wrong thinking and shape me into a more useful tool in His merciful hands.
Thank you, Lover of our souls, for bearing with our doubts and being the great “I AM” who is willing to heal us in spite of our “iffy”selves.