My father died just before I reached the age of three years old. I have little recollection of him,but my family assures me that he loved me dearly. Doubtless, he much desired to remain with my mother and me, but health issues prevented him from doing so. He was willing, abundantly willing, but unable.
Conversely, we hear too often in our generation the sad story of men who fatheroffspring in the biological sense, but who fail to fulfill the parental responsibility of loving and remaining with mother and children. These men are most often strong, healthy, and possessed of the means to rear their sons and daughters. They lack, however, the inclination to do so. They are able, abundantly able, butunwilling.
Thankfully, abundant willingness and ability fill the heart of our Heavenly Father. He can be with us forevermore. He can be whatever we need Him to be, and do whatever we need Him to do. He also wants to do sowith an intensity ofdesire far more passionate and purposeful than we can begin to imagine. I think of this often when recalling the story of the leper who discovered the power of God's hand, and the love of His heart.
"And, behold, there came a leper and worshiped Him, saying, Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth His hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed" (Matthew 8:2-3).
The leper's healing required both willingness and ability on the part of the Lord Jesus. Had either been absent, the dread disease wouldhave remained. More importantly, the leper would have not have known the caring that irresistibly draws the heart of God to human need. "But Thou, o Lord, art a God full of compassion" (Psalm 86:15). The Savior could. He would. He did. The sublime essence of the Gospel shines forth in this historical narrative that must become personal conviction, faith, and experience in each of our lives. "I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: butnow mine eye seethThee" (Job 42:5).
Whatever "leprosy" may plague us just now, be it matters of the spirit, soul, or body, God is willing and able to make us clean. He will, of course, do so according tothe perfection of His own wisdom and way. But He will inevitably act on our behalf as we come to Him trusting in both His willingness and ability. Nothing is too hard for Him. Moreover, no need finds Him lacking in the desire to supply. This we can believe. This wemust believe. He is theGod of the "can" and the "will." Let us trust Him accordingly, discovering thereby the blessed truth that the Father of our Lord Jesus has never disappointed anyone who has looked to Him withconfidence in His ability and willingness. And no one ever will."
He that believeth on Him shall not be confounded."(I Peter 2:6)