Our Sunday School class has been studying Matthew. Chapters eight and nine are full of healings - physical, spiritual. Healing of Jews, Gentiles, adults and children are recorded one after another. Sometimes the person came on their own. Sometimes they were carried by friends. Sometimes one person came to request the healing of another. Sometimes they even asked Jesus to go to the person that was sick. Or heal the person without even going. And one woman just touched his cloak.
We have talked about these. How the healings made some “priests and leaders” a bit upset. How some thanked Jesus and how some were so thrilled they just told everyone. We discussed how being healed changed their lives. But, I realized we were missing something. There was something important we were overlooking.
I read an article in the Guidepost about a family that moved 22 miles but kept going back to their old church. 22 miles became a long drive and they began to attend a church closer to home. It didn’t go so great. People weren’t as friendly. No one saved them a seat at their church dinners. The author said she couldn’t move past polite chitchat. Until, “something inside me crumbled.”
She said, “I’m reminded that it’s okay to look back on the past, to cherish the memories, as long as you make room for the joy that is right before you.”
Light bulb moment!! That is the common thread we were missing. All the people that came to Jesus for healing had to change. Something inside each had to crumble. They could cherish memories of who they were but they had to make room for change. And in making room, they found joy.
Go back and read the accounts of healing. Look at each person, think about their life and find what they changed. What they let go of. It could be the traditions of their faith they cherish. It could be their pride. It could be their shame. Then think about the joy they received. Joy because they were willing to let go. They were willing to allow their life to change.
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 19:17, 26
As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away.” But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
AND NOW #2
Now talk about someone who could not let go. Lot’s wife was not willing to make room for something better.
On a personal level, what are you holding onto? Afraid to let go of? What is keeping you from having joy? What ties you down? Are you holding onto your memories (good and bad) to the point that you are missing out on the joy right in front of you? Do you make yesterday more important than today?
Look around. What do you see? What are you holding onto that keeps you from receiving 100% of what God has for you?
If an angel told you to flee, would you? Or would you look back? Are you a pillar of salt? Or are you full of joy?
LET US PRAY (Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.)
Lord, search me. Examine my life. What am I holding onto? What is right in front of me or what is way down in my little toe that I refuse to let go. What am I looking back at instead of looking to You? What do I need to change so I can have joy? So my spirit can be healed. Show me so I can come to You and be filled. Amen