I have a confession to make.
I was hesitant about making this confession publicly but here it goes.
I feel good.
I know it’s been a while since you’ve heard anyone reveal something quite as shocking so I will give you a moment to let that sink in.
I’m hesitant for a couple of reasons.
1. It’s kind of hard to believe. I’m sitting here taking a body inventory and there isn’t a single area of my body screaming at me for attention. Just a week and a half ago I was back at the doctor’s office asking for a referral to a pain management doctor and now I’m wondering where that pain went.
I am on the other side of forty, sliding towards fifty, so there are a few body parts that are grumpy and groaning, but I think, at my age, that’s to be expected. Compared to what I’ve been dealing with for the past several years it feels positively exhilarating.
2. I hate to admit this, but I’m afraid it won’t last. This is, I fear. at the crux of the matter. My faith is weak.
I have become accustomed to pain. I am not used to living without it. It’s become familiar. It’s what I know.
The reason I’m going out on a limb and confessing this to you today is because I don’t want to live with the familiar. I don’t want to live a life without faith. I don’t want to live a life with pain and I don’t want to be afraid of feeling good.
There is a story in the Bible that speaks to me so vividly. It is the story of the ten lepers.
“Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
All ten men were healed. Only one returned to give thanks, “praising God in a loud voice.” Did the other nine doubt their healing? Had they become accustomed to the pain, to being social outcasts? The Scriptures don’t tell us. But we do know there was one who returned.
Today, I am standing with the one who returned. I am throwing myself at Jesus’ feet and publicly thanking him for the healing that is taking place in my body. I am thanking Him for another restful night’s sleep and another day without pain or pain medication.
I am excited about tomorrow and filled with wonder at all that God has done and all that he has in store for me and my family.
He is birthing something new in me and continues to fill my heart with compassion for the broken, the poor, the lonely and the disenfranchised. I may not know where is is leading, but I pray that I will, be found faithful.
God is gracious—it is he who makes things right,
our most compassionate God.
God takes the side of the helpless;
when I was at the end of my rope, he saved me.
I said to myself, “Relax and rest.
God has showered you with blessings.
Soul, you’ve been rescued from death;
Eye, you’ve been rescued from tears;
And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling.”
I’m striding in the presence of God,
alive in the land of the living!
I stayed faithful, though bedeviled,
and despite a ton of bad luck,
Despite giving up on the human race,
saying, “They’re all liars and cheats.”
What can I give back to God
for the blessings he’s poured out on me?
I’ll lift high the cup of salvation—a toast to God!
I’ll pray in the name of God;
I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do,
and I’ll do it together with his people.
When they arrive at the gates of death,
God welcomes those who love him.
Oh, God, here I am, your servant,
your faithful servant: set me free for your service!
I’m ready to offer the thanksgiving sacrifice
and pray in the name of God.
I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do,
and I’ll do it in company with his people,
In the place of worship, in God’s house,
in Jerusalem, God’s city.
Psalm 116 (MSG)