It’s a crazy thought, isn’t it? I mean I’ve never been confused if I was going to work or coming home. I’ve never wondered if I’m going on vacation or coming home. And yet I’ve made this desperate somewhat comical cry when I’ve been so distracted I couldn’t remember why I walked into a room or something important on my to-do list. Distraction costs us.
So when I think about the new year I want to drive a stake in the ground- put my foot down to stop the room from spinning. (Metaphorically of course- it has nothing to do with any NYE “celebrations!”)
So I’m asking myself with regards to my faith, “Are you coming or going?”
Are you coming to God with a need or a request? Are you going out with a mission/directive God has already given you?
In Luke 17:11-19 ten lepers come to Jesus wanting to be healed. “Have mercy!” Jesus responds, “Go show yourselves to the priest.” As they went, it came to pass.
These lepers waited for Jesus to come by. They knew what they wanted and when he came near they shouted! If you knew Jesus was going to walk down your street and you had one chance to ask him for your greatest need, what would you shout? Give me wisdom! Heal my marriage! Bring my wayward son home! What are you coming to Jesus for this year?
As they waited for Jesus’ answer I bet they wanted to hear, “Poof! You’re healed!” (Don’t we all?!) After all he had done that for others. But instead of doing something for them, He asked them to do something- “Go and…” Has God asked you to do something? Are you waiting for the “poof?” Could your healing be on the road of “going”?
“As they went it came to pass.” As the lepers went they noticed their sores don’t hurt anymore. They aren’t as red. They start looking at each other in disbelief. Big smiles spread across their faces. They pick up the pace as they realize with each step they are being healed. They sprint up the temple steps like teams on the Amazing Race meeting Phil at the pit stop. The victory celebration begins! Right?
ALL left. ALL were healed. Only ONE came back. “Where are the nine?” Jesus asked. Maybe visiting family, perhaps writing a best seller, “How I Healed Myself by Walking.” We don’t know but we know where they weren’t.
For the one, however, an additional blessing was waiting. The leper who once stood at a distance and shouted loudly, “Have pity!” was now at Jesus feet shouting praises. Jesus responds to his gratitude, “Your faith has healed AND saved you.”
Lastly, a bonus question. Has God done things for you you’ve taken for granted? Are you coming back with praise for His goodness? Giving Him the glory? What “AND” might you be forfeiting? What closeness with Christ might you be forsaking?