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About the Writer:
Karen Hossink

Karen Hossink

Karen Hossink is a wife, mother, speaker and author. She and her husband, Brian, have three children: Elizabeth, Joshua and Matthew, and they make their home in Okemos, Michigan. Karen's book, Confessions of an Irritable Mother, offers the hope that God uses the hard times in our lives to make us more like Jesus. Karen is a speaker for Speaking Thru Me Ministries, a fee-free event resource for churches.  You can find more information about Karen at:


What If He Isn't Willing?

by Karen Hossink

In Mark 1:40-45 we read the story of a leper who approached Jesus on his knees, begging Him, "If you are willing, you can make me clean." We read that Jesus was filled with compassion for the man, He reached out and touched him and told him, "I am willing. Be clean!" And with that proclamation, the man with leprosy was cured.

In spite of Jesus' instructions that he should not tell anyone about what had just happened, the man who had been cured of leprosy went out and freely spoke about what Jesus had done for him. Can you imagine what he was saying? "Look at me! Look at me, friends! It's OK to touch me. I can come into your house and eat with you. You can walk with me down the street and be with me now. I don't need to walk around shouting, 'Unclean! Unclean!' anymore!

"I went to Jesus. I begged the Man who heals. I told Him that I knew if He was willing, He could make me clean. And do you know what He did? He looked at me with a love like I have never seen before. His eyes pierced right through to my heart. And He reached out His hand to touch me. Yes! He touched me! Then I heard Him say, 'I am willing. Be clean!'

"And just like that, as sure as I heard Him speak, the leprosy was gone. Look at me, friends. I'm clean!!!"
Realizing how awful life was for a person with leprosy, we can surely understand why that man was unable to keep silent about what Jesus had done for him. In an instant, he went from outcast to completely healed. In one moment he was required to warn people of his presence by shouting, "Unclean! Unclean!" wherever he went. And in the next moment, he could be touched and welcomed and received with joy. All because Jesus was willing.

It's easy to look at this story and see God's goodness and power and give Him praise for the amazing things He does. We read of His healing touch and we want to shout it from the mountain tops. We want to tell everyone, "He can do this for you. Just ask Him!"

But what if Jesus wasn't willing to heal that man? What if the sickness - not the cure - was part of God's perfect plan? What if suffering was the vehicle God was going to use to bring that man to Himself? Would we still read that story and see God's goodness and power, and want to give Him praise? Or would we find ourselves disappointed in God, questioning whether or not we can trust Him?

God is all-powerful. To be sure, He could heal all our diseases. God has the power to remove that cancerous tumor, to restore full function to that heart after the heart-attack, and to fully mend that body which suffered through the car accident. God has the power to reconcile that broken relationship and He could work out the circumstances of your life to completely remove you from your current suffering.

He could do that.
Because He is God.

Just like the man who had leprosy, we are free to come to Jesus on our knees and beg Him saying, "If You are willing, You can…" And if He is willing, our plea will be granted.

He can do that.
Because He is God.

But what if He isn't willing? What if our current state of suffering is part of God's perfect plan? What if the pain we are facing is for our good and His glory? What if He looks at us with compassion, and as His love pierces through our hearts we hear Him say, My child, I love you. I love you more than you can imagine. I do not delight in your pain. But I am not willing to take this suffering away from you right now.
I am not willing to do it, because I know how this circumstance is going to work out for you. The trial you are enduring right now, child, is difficult - I know. I understand - you want it to end. You want the suffering to be over. But I'm asking you to hold on to Me through the storm, and watch Me. Keep your eyes fixed upon Me, and see what I will do for you. I will stay by your side through this whole journey, and when you need Me to, I am going to carry you.

Child, I am not willing. But I know what I am doing and My plan is perfect. Will you trust Me?
We cannot see the things God sees, and we do not know what He knows. Our limitations require us to trust in our Father – Who is good, and Who always does what is best for us.

Perhaps you are facing a situation right now for which you desire immediate relief. But maybe God is not willing to affect your circumstance instantly because His perfect plan requires you to wait. How are you going to respond? If God is asking you to wait, will you still trust Him?

Copyright © 2009 – Karen Hossink. All rights reserved.



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