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Sunday, March 21, 2021

if you are willing

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you that your perspective is much bigger than ours; you see things that we cannot see and you know things that we do not know.  And thank you that you are good and loving, and can be fully trusted with our lives and our prayers.  Help us to fully trust you today.  Amen.

Scripture: Mark 1:40-42

Journal: What are you begging God for these days?  Are you willing to ask him if he’s willing?  Will you trust him even if he’s not?

Reflection: God wants more for us than we even want for ourselves.  That’s why our prayers so often fall short of God’s deepest hopes and dreams for us.  He sees the bigger picture that we cannot see.

I think that’s why I am so intrigued by the words of the leper: “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”  What an incredible prayer that would be.  “I know you can, but will you?  I know you see what I cannot see and know what I do not know, and I trust that you are good and always working for the ultimate good in my life.  So if you are willing, great.  If not, then I trust that you have something better in mind for me—although it might involve some pain and struggle.”

What if God would have given Mary and Martha what they wanted when they sent word to Jesus that their brother Lazarus was sick?  They would have gotten a healing, but would have missed the awestruck wonder of him being raised from the dead.  Jesus had something far better in mind.

Jesus had something far better in mind for them, and Jesus has something far better in mind for us.  Therefore, our prayers should reflect that.  I’m not saying not to tell God what you want, that would be disingenuous.  He knows your heart.  What I am saying is that we approach God like the all-seeing, all-knowing God that he is.  Acknowledging that we really do not know what is best for us in the long run.  He has perspective that we do not have.  He knows that, even in the face of death, “To live is Christ and to die is gain,” (Phil. 1:21) while we live as if, “To live is gain and to die is Christ.”  He sees things through a whole different set of lenses, which makes, “If you are willing” such a great prayer.


Closing Prayer: Give us the courage and the strength and the grace, Lord Jesus, to ask you if you are willing.  And then to fully trust you, whatever the response.  Amen.

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