Keeping My Distance

14 11 2007

I was just reading and praying through Lk 17:11-19 where 10 lepers approach Jesus for healing and only one returns to say ‘thank you’ after having been healed.

The phrase which stood out to me was “They stood at a distance and called out...” Why would I linger over this phrase?

Of course, the lepers didn’t get close Jesus, they knew not to get close to anyone. Otherwise, they’d spread their disease.

So, they didn’t want to get Jesus (and his followers) sick, right? Or was there something else? What about me? How do I approach the Master for healing?

How often do I “keep my distance” – only getting close enough to shout out a request and (hopefully) get what I’m looking for? All too often.

Why? Am I afraid – as perhaps the lepers were – that I’ll pass my sickness on to the Lord? Or am I more afraid of the transformation that will happen to me?

Or – on an even more shallow and common level – am I just looking for blessing and not the One who gives it? Yeah, that’s probably closer to the truth.

Based upon the actions of the 9 who did not return thanks, my guess is they are a lot like me. They got close enough to Jesus to ask for what they wanted – healing from leprosy- and then went on with their lives. They weren’t looking for anything more.  Certainly, not a close relationship with Christ.  The classic “hit and run” request.

On the other hand, I think the one who returned thanks saw healing as a means to an end – not the end in and of itself. Maybe not at first, but it certainly didn’t take him long to realize there was more benefit to being clean than just being clean.

His healing allowed him to “throw himself at Jesus’ feet”. To be as close to the Master as possible. That’s the attitude I need to have.

When I look for healing grace so that I might draw closer to God, keeping my distance will no longer be a concern. It will become a fading habit.

Then, instead of keeping myself ‘safely’ away from Christ, I’ll be free to lose myself in Christ.

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Hitting the Book

7 09 2007

Now that Tracey and the boys are back to school this week ”hitting the books,” I will have the home office all to myself at least 3 mornings a week. Today I decided that this new-found peace and quiet left with me no more excuses to not avoid hitting THE Book in personal Bible study. (As if I had any real excuses before hand!)

I’m planning to memorize a part of scripture each week using this list of “Fighter Verses”, meditate on that Scripture and pray over constant, long-term and short-term prayer requests.

This week’s verse is just what I need to hear.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness so that the power of Christ may rest on me. — 2 Cor. 12-9

I’m excited about this new start and wanted to blog about it so as to help keep myself accountable. Feel free to ask me how it is going. It’ll help keep me on my toes.