He Meets Us In Our Desperation
“As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’” — Luke 17:12–13
Leprosy is an obvious, external disease. It’s painful and contagious. And at this point in history, it was untreatable. So I can imagine that as these men saw Jesus coming, heard the whispers that this Great Teacher and Healer was in the vicinity, they had nothing holding them back from crying out for help. They knew that they needed something, and they had nothing to lose. They were already on the outside, already sick.
Jesus said at another point that He came for the sick, not the healthy. The lepers fit the bill. It’s easy to seek healing when you’re physically at the end of your rope. Yet I know that many of us are internally sick, exhausted, wounded, shameful, addicted, bound up, and we’re not crying out to Jesus. Somehow, we have believed the lies either that Jesus isn’t actually the Master that the lepers believed He was or that we don’t really have that great of a need for His healing and His mercy.
So we sit in the background, trying to nurse our wounds by ourselves, missing out on the encounter we could have with Jesus, the wholeness and healing and restoration He offers. It might be painful to acknowledge our need or our hurt or our sin, but isn’t it painful to stay in it as well? Our hardship can draw us close to God if we allow it. Crying out to Him is a form of surrender, isn’t it? It’s admitting that we really can’t do it alone, that we aren’t as powerful or as whole or as put-together as we want to believe sometimes. But just when we think we might be swallowed up as we reach toward Him, He meets us in our desperation. When we draw near to Him, He draws near to us. His arm is not too weak to save us. He gathers all of our tears. He sees all things, knows all things, isn’t surprised by our need. He knows it, and He meets us in the thick of it, when we cry out.