The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"The Leper and the Apostle"
Sometimes God saves us from our challenges. Sometimes He saves us in them. A leper and an apostle bear witness to this truth.
"There came a leper to Him, beseeching Him, and kneeling down to Him, and saying unto Him, If Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth His hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed" (Mark 1:40-42).
"Lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness" (II Corinthians 12:7-9).
The Lord's different application of His compassion saved one man from humiliation. It saved the other from pride. An outcast who no one would touch found wondrous grace in the Lord, whose loving heart and healing hand provided deliverance from a sadly forlorn existence. Conversely, a man of God who touched many with the Gospel found the same wondrous grace in being delivered from the allure of pride and self-importance, while the Lord allowed a painful thorn to remain.
Doubtless, the leper rejoiced as did the Psalmist: "This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles" (Psalm 34:6). Just as certainly, Paul knew another mode and measure of the Psalmist's joy: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). The two men became beneficiaries of the God who moves with compassion toward the needy, be it of body or of heart. The leper and Paul would tell us from their Heavenly vantage point, "As for God, His way is perfect" (II Samuel 22:31). Neither would want their Lord to have worked in any way other than that which He did. Most of all, the leper and the apostle would affirm that the compassion of the Lord Jesus met them in their trials, and proved to be more than enough to deliver from the disease of a plague, and the danger of pride. Yes, two men found the love of God in great challenge - one delivered from, and the other delivered in - confirming yet another assurance of the Psalmist…
"Call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me."
Weekly Memory Verse
Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
(I Corinthians 1:30)