Not Beyond Hope or Help

Many are saying of my soul,
    there is no salvation for him in God. Selah

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
    my glory, and the lifter of my head – Psalm 3:2-3

And a leper came to [Jesus], imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” – Mark 1:40-41


One of several beautiful fuchsia blossoms growing in northern Alaska.

You may have gotten to a situation that was hopeless: bankruptcy, divorce, job loss, or disease brought you down for the count. Perhaps there was a time during which all seemed lost, and there was no possible good future before you. You might be in that place now. Certainly without God’s intervening mercy we would all find ourselves without hope in this world.

I wonder about the leper who came to Jesus in regard to hope. How many days had gone by with no hope in sight, no possible good future for him, no anticipation of a better tomorrow. I wonder whether he had tried every alternative treatment known to him, and even made up his own. I recall that during my pre-adolescent years I tried to “solve” a medical problem I was having in a way that not only did not work, but possibly even caused me more trouble in the end. I wonder whether this man had gone down that path.

What we don’t have to wonder about, however, is the path revealed to him when he learned of Jesus and came to him seeking healing. Remarkable faith is at work here: “If you will…” This is no demand. This is simply seeking to avail himself of Jesus’ good will and favor. The question at play here was not Jesus’ ability to perform a miracle, but Jesus’ will to do so for this man at this time.

Mercy moved Jesus to respond with a healing touch. I cannot imagine the physical experience, but I do recall a rush of relief when a medical test for one of our children came back negative (that is, “no disease”). I can still feel it today – 30 years later. Relief and thankfulness well up in praise to God.

Whatever our situation we are not without hope or help if we turn to God. When we experience that – today or on the Great Last Day – we will surely be filled with praise to God.

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