It's 2019, and people are either coming up with new years resolutions or setting up their words for the year.
I must admit, I was a lot less intentional this year than in the past. I didn't set up a resolution, many goals, or even set a word or intention for this year. But God has been pounding something into my heart for this new year that I can't seem to escape; honestly, it's pretty terrifying.
"While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered in leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, 'Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.' Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. 'I am willing.' he said. 'Be clean!' And immediately the leprosy left him." Luke 5:12-13
There is never a moment in the Bible where Jesus refused someone who asked for healing. He never said no.
He never left them in their pain.
He never said "There is a greater glory in you staying in this place."
He was always willing.
This has been hitting me like a brick wall. Jesus didn't ever say he had more important things to do. He didn't allow his companions to rush him, or political leaders to scare him. He always made time for the hurting, even when he himself was exhausted. Jesus was always willing to impact people with the love of God. It was more than just physical, he gave people what they needed. So it's not a question of if he wants to heal, to impact, to restore, to speak, to save. The question is: are we willing?
Are we willing to be his hands and feet?
Are we willing to look like a fool for Jesus?
Are we willing to approach strangers in the supermarket?
Are we willing to not always get it right?
Are we willing to get laughed at or rejected?
Are we willing to embrace the unlovable?
Are we willing to not be politically correct?
Are we willing to give over our schedules, plans, ministries, careers, finances, and prayers?
Are we willing to step out of our comfort zone and embrace uncertainty?
Jesus said it was better that he leave earth so that the Holy Spirit could come and dwell with us--he said we would do greater things than he did (John 16:7; John 14:12). God has given us everything we need through Holy Spirit to bring God's kingdom down to earth. He has given us his power, his love, his authority, and his purpose of bringing love to a broken and hurting world.
God is constantly pressing us to be his hands and feet. Yet, recently I've caught myself making excuses and pretending that this doesn't apply to me in certain situations:
I'm in a hurry.
I don't want to approach a strange man.
I only have this last $20.
But is that really you, God?
I've found that I've gotten too comfortable in my own little world and shied away from God's gentle nudging. I'm not sure where I stepped away from living recklessly abandoned, or even when it started, but I am becoming painfully aware I've been shutting him out.
But God, in his infinite grace and patience, has never given up nudging me in the right direction; he definitely hasn't given up on the broken and hurting.
So the question remains, burning in my heart despite stirring up feelings of inadequacy, fear, and selfishness. No longer is it the one that makes excuses by asking:"Is that really you?" Instead it is one I fight to scream "yes!" to wholeheartedly.
I invite you to join me this year in asking:
Am I willing to truly give up my life for the greatest cause ever given to humanity?