I saw God today as I read the scripture in Luke 17:11-19. A familiar scripture about the ten lepers that were healed by Jesus but only one came back and was thankful and praised God for the healing.
But what God showed me today was looking at this story differently. Instead of thinking negatively about the other nine lepers who I have always seen as ungrateful…. today I saw them differently.
These men called out to Jesus to have mercy and Jesus response was probably not what they expected. Jesus did not say: because you believed you are healed, it was not some miraculous moment where Jesus took the dirt and made mud and put it on their skin and then they were healed, Jesus didn’t tell them to go and dunk themselves in water and they would be healed. Instead, Jesus said: “Go and show yourselves to the priest.”
I thought about how many times I had called out to Jesus to have mercy on my own situation and waiting for an appropriate response, one that I would recognize. One that would answer my plea according to what I imagined it would be, the solution that I had dreamed up, in just the right timing.
The scripture says that “as they went, they were made clean”. But how far had they gone? Had they traveled long enough to lose hope? So much so that they didn’t see Jesus in their situation at all, thinking that Jesus had given up on them? Perhaps thinking that Jesus didn’t have time for them so He sent them to see the priest instead. Did they feel rejected?
It is our human nature to respond this way. Only one out of ten did not lose hope, only one out of ten kept believing, only one out of ten never lost hope, watching and knowing that eventually he would be healed. So when it happened, he knew exactly who had healed him and returned to give thanks and praise.
Are we any different today? Things not happening the way we expected or in the time frame we expected, and so we lose hope, fall into dis-belief, fall away from God, sometimes feeling rejected and so we reject back?
Here is what really struck me, no where in any version of scripture does it say that Jesus took the healing back. Jesus still blessed the other nine, still healed them, still loved them and still longed for a relationship with them. And I rejoice because I know that it is the same today, Jesus never gives up on us! Even when we lose hope and our faith is weak, even when we walk about from Him, Jesus never gives up on us.
I think about the times that I looked back on a situation and realized what God had done and it looked very different from my solution and my time frame. And I am thankful that God took care of me. God has a better plan for me than I could ever have for myself.
Lord God, help me be the one, then one that never looses hope, never looses faith knowing that you have my back in all my situations good and bad. I am thankful and praise your name for all my blessings. In Jesus name, Amen!