Before the healing

I’m worn out. Sick. Tired. My heart races and mind is frustrated with the events swirling to no foreseeable end. How am I supposed to know which way to turn? Truth is clouded, and I am stuck. The space between us is magnified, leaving emptiness in its wake.

This is the reality for 10 people, as their sufferings and desperation unfolds for us in Luke 17.

As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”‭‭

Luke‬ ‭17:11-13

Ten men with leprosy stand outside, separated, tremendously suffering. As Jesus enters the village, those men stand at a distance and begin crying out — Jesus, have mercy on us!

Jesus had come to the village for a specific purpose. But God had also brought together events, even painful circumstances, for each of these 10 men to be standing there, ready to call out for mercy to the Only One who could give it.

Jesus, have mercy on me. Jesus, have mercy on us!

He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”‭‭

Luke‬ ‭17:14‬a

Jesus looks at them. He acknowledges each one, as valuable, and worth His time and His healing power. However, in that moment, He doesn’t heal them. He gives them a command that doesn’t make sense or that gives resolution.

“Go and show yourselves to the priests.”

The reason a leper would go to the priest is to receive acknowledgment and proclamation of healing. But, these 10 men aren’t healed. By law they aren’t allowed to be anywhere near those who are clean and whole. How can they present themselves for examination by the priest if their bodies are still in decay? And yet, this man they call Master, answers their cry for mercy with this command – Go.

God calls us to step forward in faith and walk as though we are healed before we are actually healed.

As Jesus speaks, He is assuring these 10 of their healing and asking them to believe Him by doing what He says. God’s promise is true before it is fulfilled.

And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.

‭‭Luke‬ ‭17:14‬b

As they go, they are healed. They receive the miracle God’s mercy has extended through the word of Jesus.

One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.‭‭

Luke‬ ‭17:15-16‬

All 10 lepers are healed. All of them realize they were healed. One of them comes back. The other nine continue on to the priests for the official statement of their healing. One returns to The One who had healed him.

This time, though, the former leper doesn’t stand at a distance and call out to the One who had given him mercy. He rushes to Jesus and falls at His feet.

God’s healing isn’t only about curing our sickness – it’s about eliminating the space between us and Him.

God wants us as close to Him as possible, and He will do whatever is necessary to draw us near.

How then how should we live, how do we approach a world of anxiety, chaos, lies and separation?

Call out to Jesus! Ask Him for mercy, for direction, for how to even find the path forward. 

  • God, where are You commanding us to live in Your promise before it is fulfilled – before we can see it?
  • Where are You asking us to believe You?
  • Would you teach us how to gear all of our energy, thoughts and actions through that belief?

Jesus, show us how to step forward healed, even before we actually are.

Only in Heaven

Watching a 19 Kids and Counting episode with my children gave me an opportunity I wasn’t expecting.

I had DVR’d a special program about all the Duggar births in the last decade. Jackson absolutely loves babies, so he was enthralled by the newborns. Baby after baby made his or her entrance into the world, and both my kids paid special attention to the details, asking me questions about how they were born and what they were like when they were that small. It was fun to share their beginning stories with them again.

One of the last stories on the recording showed the heartbreak the family went through during Michelle’s last pregnancy. During their ultrasound to determine the sex of the baby, they discovered there was no heartbeat and the baby had died.

Through my tears, I looked over to make sure Jackson was okay. He has such a sensitive heart, and he had buried his body in the couch cushions while watching with a look of shock and sadness across his face. Lauren turned to me, and asked me why I was crying. So, I paused the show and tried to explain what had happened, and that sometimes babies go to heaven before they are born.

This orchid plant was given to me by a dear friend after one of my miscarriages. It almost always blooms around the time of year that one of the babies we lost went to Heaven. God continues to encourage and bring peace year after year through this beautiful plant.

This orchid plant was given to me by a dear friend after one of my miscarriages. It almost always blooms around the time of year that one of the babies we lost went to Heaven. God continues to encourage and bring peace year after year through this beautiful plant.

After answering a few more of their questions, instead of starting the show again, I made the decision to share with them about the babies I had lost. I told them that after having Jackson, we had two babies who died in the womb before we had Lauren.

I didn’t know how they’d react, and it took them a few moments to respond. At first they didn’t believe it. Surely, that couldn’t have happened to our family. I’ve gone through that denial before, too. We talked about the two babies who were now in heaven, and they wanted so badly to know if the babies were girls or boys. They just wondered if they should look for a sister or a brother, or both, when they got to Heaven. I told them God would help them to know, and we would all be together some day with Jesus.

The thought that they would meet new siblings in Heaven delighted Lauren. She smiled as she thought about it. But, Jackson was overwhelmed. He was feeling grief that those babies had died. I held him as we cried together for awhile.

It’s been seven years since our family grew in Heaven, and it always surprises me how the losses sneak up on me. But sharing their lives with the children God has given me to raise here has brought a new healing to my heart. We are all looking forward to reuniting our entire family in Heaven, and enjoying eternity with Jesus together.