We Are Healed For A Reason
Matthew 8:1-3 When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.
Imagine what it meant to this man, not only to be healed, but also to be touched by another person. God is committed to us physically, mentally, emotionally, and relationally. He desires that we are truly whole. We all want to be liked and accepted by society. None of us want to know the sting of rejection. We often don’t speak up or stand for others, if the cost of such actions could impact our acceptance by the masses. What does it mean to be rejected by society? Those who are disfigured by leprosy know what it’s like to be an outcast, untouchable and unwanted.
Dr. Paul Brand was an orthopedic surgeon working with the marred and useless limbs of leprosy victims in India. Dr. Brand brought new hope to people suffering with leprosy by applying the body’s capacity to heal. He developed groundbreaking treatment when he discovered that leprosy is not a tissue disease but a disease of the nerves. He worked with people who were thrown away by society because of fear and a lack of respect for those who are different and often hard to look at.
Because of Brand’s belief in Christ, he worked to restore the image of humanity in those who suffered with this horrific disease. He lived the kind of life that caused nonbelievers to question their world view. He loved the unlovable and made it his life mission to bring healing to those who were of little, if any value, to most people.
When I read the book, “In His Image”, written by Philip Yancey about Dr. Brand’s work in India, I was so humbled by God’s love for us that I was challenged to grow in my commitment to serving others, even if it meant following God down roads less traveled. A few years later, after wrestling with God because I didn’t want to accept His will that Julie and I go to Uganda so serve orphaned children, I committed to follow Christ even though it meant giving up my vision for my life. As hard as it was, malaria 28 times, blood infections, almost loosing my leg, just to name a few of the challenges, I was transformed by the gospel and blessed in ways I could never have imagined. Those six years at New Hope Uganda, working to love orphaned children and create family groups, where they could experience God’s love personally, I experienced physical, mental, emotional, and relational healing that has blessed me as a father and pastor. When you receive God’s love and calling for your life, His purpose brings joy, peace and meaning, beyond what you can imagine. My hope and prayer is that you would allow God to touch the part of your soul that is most broken and be made whole resulting in a new calling regardless of the cost. When we are transformed by the personal touch of Jesus in our lives, we realize that there is no greater joy than living out God’s purpose for our lives.