By Robert Halsey Pine
“On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:11-19 NRSV)
Our faith will make us well. “Well” can mean different things to different people. During a difficult health situation, for me the word it came to mean, “Being one with God.” Our faith should not dictate outcomes. Our faith is giving it all to God with no expectation other than being His child forever.
There is nothing wrong with desiring or preferring a particular outcome when we pray. However, as we pray, we must be willing to turn the whole matter over to God’s best judgment. We can’t assume to know what God knows or how He might redeem a situation. We must remember certain things that will impact how we pray.
God created us. In the Garden of Eden, we became sinful. We then became mortal. Today, even with our medical advances, not many of us will live past 100 years. At some point praying not to die, not to leave this life, is not realistic. God has promised eternal life to all who turn to Him. That’s the life that we should seek. Jesus says, “But strive first for the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33 NRSV). So, you see, it is best to stay connected with our Creator and let Him handle things.
Heavenly Father, give me the strength and understanding to trust You with my life. I pray that You help me control my attempts to manage and second-guess Your Will. Please Father, help me to achieve Your Peace. This is what I should pray for, Father. I pray for the peace that passes all understanding. Amen.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.