Scripture For Today:
“Pray to the Lord, for we have had enough thunder and hail. I will let you go; you don’t have to stay any longer.”
Giving Thanks pt 2
Since we are in the season of “Thanksgiving” here in the United States, I wanted to take a few days to share my thoughts, based on Bible Scriptures, about “Thanksgiving.”
Yesterday, we left off looking at the story of the ten lepers who were healed by Jesus.
This disease can take 30 years to run its course, and in that time span, entire limbs can simply fall off. It is, assuredly, a most horrible disease. We have nearly an impossible task in trying to fathom what it was like 2,000 years ago, when medical treatment as we know it today was almost non-existent.
Beth Moore, in her book Jesus The One And Only, tells of an occasion she had to be near a modern-day leper colony. Something within her had always wanted to minister in a leper colony, but her trip overseas had given her the first opportunity to be near such a place. She walked by the entrance three times. She saw those who were suffering. She begged herself for a chance to go inside. But she could not.
The reason? The smell overwhelmed her. She could not work up the stomach to go inside the colony. She could not bear the thought of witnessing for the Lord, but at the same time becoming violently ill as she faced human beings already acutely aware that they were different. The trip passed, and she was not able to go inside.
And, I think, we gained a new appreciation of how bad this disease must have been in the days of Christ. It wasn’t just the grotesque damage, or the attack to our sight. It wasn’t just the loud cries, the attack to our hearing. It was also the smell of rotting, decaying flesh, overwhelming even our sense of smell.
The emotional pain of a leper, however, must have been even worse than the physical pain. He was removed from his family, from his community. There could be no contact, whatsoever, with his children or grandchildren. None. Immediately removed. His wife would not be allowed to kiss him goodbye. He would not have allowed it, for fear that she, too, would become afflicted.
Lepers tended to roam together, looking for food, begging for assistance from a great distance, learning to yell in loud voices, both from the need to warn others, and to beg for help from across the way.
What would it have been like to have been removed from friends and family for a lifetime, and to have been forced to announce that removal on a daily basis? It must have been horrible.
But, when they asked Jesus to heal them, He responded, “OK, go show yourself to the priests!”
And, as they went, scripture say, “they were healed.” All ten.
But in order for the miracle to happen, these men had to start walking in faith before their circumstances had changed one tiny bit.
Is there a more potent lesson for us, on this Thanksgiving week? You cannot wait until the problems are over to start walking in faith. You cannot put conditions on holy God. You cannot say, “Lord, as soon as there’s enough money, I follow your instructions.” You cannot pray, “Lord, if you’ll just solve this issue in my family, I’ll start to church.” You cannot put conditions on God! Instead, God places a demand for faith on us, before anything at all has changed.
Think about that this week…
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