Find Healing and Wholeness at the Feet of Jesus

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A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy                                            disappeared, and the man was healed.  ~ Mark 1:40-44                                                                               

If you are willing.”

They were his last words of hope.

Leprosy marked his body, while rejection laced his soul.

He had been declared “unclean” by society, and no one would come near him.

No one except for Jesus. As the man bowed at His feet, Jesus looked upon him and was filled with compassion. Reaching out, Jesus did what no one else dared to do, he touched him.

“I am willing,” Jesus said.

With one touch and three words, the man was healed.

Life was restored.

Hope was renewed.

Joy was ignited.

I imagine this man on his knees before Jesus not knowing what to expect. The scriptures say he bowed his face to the ground. Perhaps he felt shameful, embarrassed or even nervous. Regardless of how he felt, when his wretched “if” collided with the “Great I AM,” the extraordinary happened.

A debilitating rash was erased and freedom was gained.

Relationships were restored.

And, labels were removed.

No more declarations of unclean, rejected or unworthy.

Why?

Because he came to Jesus.

Maybe you can identify with this man. Leprosy probably doesn’t mark your body, but perhaps shame, regret and hopelessness do.

Maybe a wrong decision has left you with devastating consequences.

Maybe you feel rejected, abandoned or like an outcast.

Maybe you have regret.

Regardless, a burden will keep us from experiencing wholeness, unless we become like the man with leprosy and kneel at Jesus’ feet.

A burden becomes a blessing when it brings us closer to Jesus.

I believe we all desire wholeness deep in our hearts, yet becoming whole is impossible outside of a relationship with Jesus.

In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”

Jesus has made a space at His feet for everyone.

 

No matter what your need is; no matter how you feel. I believe Jesus is looking at each one of us, like he looked at the man with leprosy, and saying, “I am willing.”

The only thing holding us back from receiving His touch is the space between His feet and our knees.

Breaking Out of my Invisible Box

Because the -joy of the Lord is my strength,- I can be joyfuleven on troublesome days.

I watched as he made his way forward from the back of the church. Slowly, he gripped a walker with one hand and held a piece of paper containing song lyrics in the other.

With physical assistance from the pastor he began to sing. He had no accompaniment and no instruments; but his desire was as deep as the sea. As words began to flow from his heart, tears filled my eyes.

Moved by his witness I began to ponder my own life.

How many times had I let troublesome days cause me to turn inward and tune out God?

As I continued to listen it was evident this man knew the joy of the Lord was his strength. He could have easily let inconvenience keep him in his seat, but he didn’t.

Each day he experiences physical limitations, but he refuses to stay in his seat or inside an invisible box of defeat. His immune system has attacked a portion of the cells in his brain causing a slow connection between his brain and legs. Walking requires significant focus, whereas, he must consciously tell himself to pick up each foot and place it back down.

But, he’s not letting this trial stop him. He continues to seek God regardless of the cost or inconvenience. A bad day doesn’t hold him back. So the last time he was called on to sing, I watched and waited for him to come forward with his walker. But he didn’t.

I scanned the congregation. Where could he be? Then, I heard him. From his seat in the middle of the church, he began to speak. People were seated all around him, but that didn’t change his desire. He may not have been able to walk forward, but he could still sing and he did. I marveled that he broke out of the box per say and sung from his seat.

So many times I let difficult days get to me. When my mind is overwhelmed with care, my default mode is to isolate myself, silence hope and hover inside a self-made box. A box void of God, but built with walls of inward thoughts like: “Nobody understands.” “I just want to sleep.” “Will this ever get better?”

The longer I sit inside my box, the taller the walls become and the more difficult they are to break down. Defeat colors the inside and despondency spreads its ugly accents.

Witnessing the resolve of this dear soul touched my heart and the Lord began speaking to me about my default mode.

He began speaking words like:

“…for the joy set before Him he endured the cross…” Hebrews 12:2

“…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

The Lord is the strength that convinces me I can be joyful even on a troublesome day.

The Lord is the strength that says, you were made for more than this.

In order to break out of my box and into the Light I must make deliberate, focused decisions to put God at the center of my situation and praise on the end of my lips. I must rise from my inward position and go forth convinced of God’s sovereignty.

Before His horrendous crucifixion, Jesus said, “… on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (emphasis mine)

Jesus, on the brink of crucifixion says, “take heart.”

What did He mean?

When I look at Jesus before His crucifixion I see him doing five things I think can help you and I break out of our invisible boxes on a difficult day.

  1. He spent time with others.
  2. He served others.
  3. He praised God.
  4. He prayed.
  5. He submitted to God.

From His seat at the Last Supper, Jesus knew He was about to endure incredible pain and agony. He knew in just a few hours He would be completely abandoned and defenseless. Yet He never withdrew. He used the hours before His crucifixion to spend time with his disciples and serve them.

After the meal Jesus and His disciples praised the Lord through song. Then they went to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus spent time praying to the Father. In His prayers he said, “…please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine.” Mark 14:36

Dear friends, we will all experience difficult days and seasons, but these times do not have to lock us in bondage. We were meant to live outside our invisible boxes. By following Jesus’ example, we can break out of our box and experience the fullness of God even in the midst of pain.

5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit

I’ve never thought of myself as a quitter.10426856_10204329484716157_6242537118572845057_n

As a youngster I was taught integrity includes following through with your commitments. Therefore, backing out of a commitment, even if something more appealing presents itself, has always been difficult for me. That should mean I’m not a quitter, right? Wrong.

Before reading 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit I had never realized how quick I am to quit on myself.

  • Limiting sugar consumption
  • Exercising regularly
  • Folding Laundry (and putting it away)
  • Pulling weeds out of the garden
  • Painting the doors entering into our home (I started this FIVE years ago and it’s still not finished!)

All of these are endeavors I started with gusto, but somewhere along the way they went from being a great idea to no longer interesting, and I quit. While I’ve always tried to fulfill my commitments to others; I’ve cut out on my own personal projects more times than I can count.

So this got me thinking. How many times have I lamented to my husband that I don’t feel fulfilled? Could it be that my feelings of being unfulfilled are related to the countless personal projects I’ve begun, but failed to see through to completion? Is my lack of completing things well causing me to feel unfulfilled?

Perhaps.

Feelings of being unfulfilled are real, and well…discouraging. And, I’m just thinking I may not be the only person who has experienced these feelings. While there are countless reasons fulfillment can evade us, could one reason possibly be that we (myself included) are cutting out on our assignments before they are complete?

This is where 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit came to my rescue.

Author, Nicki Koziarz, has crafted a powerful and applicable message about not quitting. Nicki uses the power of God’s Word, coupled with her own personal testimonies of quitting to present a message that’s unforgettable. I won’t give away her 5 Habits (you’ll have to purchase the book to find out those), but here is what I will tell you.

5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit has given me the insight to:

  1. Recognize when I’m on the verge of quitting.
  2. Receive biblical perspective to help me press on.
  3. Rekindle my determination for the goals and dreams I’ve held long in my heart.

And, it can do the same for you! Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, a woman working in corporate America, a small group leader or fresh out of college there’s something for you in 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit.