Given Freely Not Stolen

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

While re-reading the story of the woman with the years-long ongoing health issue that left her bank account empty, and her body weak, a thought came to me. The healing she sought from Jesus, and believed she had to steal, he freely gave.

As I contemplated this thought, another scene popped into my brain. A scene from Les Miserables. Perhaps you’ve either read the book, seen the play, or watched the movie, and know where I’m going with this.

courtesy bingAt one point, in an act of desperation, ex-convict, Valjean, steals expensive silver candlesticks from the priest who took Valjean in and showed him kindness. The police find Valjean with the candlesticks and take him back to the priest.

Here’s the connection …

The priest shows mercy, and says he gave Valjean the candlesticks. They weren’t stolen. Before the priest in Les Mis lets Valjean leave, he gives one of the most important messages of the story. The priest shows Valjean he is a person of value, one the priest cares about. One who God cares about.

Valjean didn’t need to steal the candlesticks. The priest gave them freely.

The woman with the issue of blood touched the hem of Jesus’ cloak seeking healing. When she did, power flowed out of Christ, and the woman was immediately healed.

She didn’t need to steal the healing. Jesus gave it freely.

This woman was desperate. She had exhausted all her known resources. Out of embarrassment and being ostracized for her condition, she didn’t want to draw attention to herself. She just knew Jesus was her only hope for healing.

When Jesus felt the power leave him, he asked who touched him. In a crowd, lots of courtesy bingpeople touched Jesus, but only this woman was healed. Jesus could have gone on his way without requesting the woman show herself, but he didn’t.

Jesus wanted to offer the woman something more. Something important. He wanted her to know he cared for her and her concerns.

Jesus wanted the woman to know he valued her. Despite how others treated her, she was precious in his eyes.

Although her physical healing was what drew the woman to seek out Christ, she received emotional and spiritual healing as well.

Jesus is the Great Physician who heals all our hurts. We don’t need to steal his blessings. He gives them freely when we seek him out, come to him humbly, and acknowledge he is able.

We need no longer fear. We are children of God.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and told him what she had done.  Mark 5:33 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Who Am I?

pixabayBy Sandy Kirby Quandt

The other day I was thinking about songs from musicals. “I Yam What I Yam” from Popeye. “Who Am I?” from Les Miz. “C’est Moi” from Camelot…each of these songs centers around who a character is, or who they believe they are.

pixabayPopeye knew he yam what he yam.

Valjean knew he was not 24601 despite what Javert thought.

And Lancelot believed he was nonpareil, without equal.

Sometimes we might wonder, “Who am I?”

Each of us has a past, a history that helped shape us into the person we are. Some of that is good. Some not so good. Our life experiences add to who we are and who we can become. Knowledge gained through the years also comes into play in our development.

We might list off who we are in relationship to others. Wife. Husband. Mother. Father. Sister. Brother. Daughter. Son. Friend. Co-worker. Employer. Employee.

Or we might feel our accomplishments or our jobs define us. Our looks. Our physical prowess.

At the top of our Who Am I list, however, I believe we should have Child of the One True King, The Great I AM. Don’t you? That is where our worth lies, after all.

God is not the Great I Will Be. Nor is he the Great I Was. He is the Great I AM.

Always has been. Always will be. Currently is.

Because we are bound by time in a linear way, it may be difficult to understand the concept of the past, present and future existing all at the exact same moment in time. I know it is for me.

But God is timeless. He is limitless. He has always been present and he always will be.

We first hear God say he is I AM who I AM in Exodus chapter 3. He spoke to Moses from a burning bush the day God commissioned Moses to go back to Egypt. God assigned Moses the job of leading God’s people out of slavery to a land he promised their ancestors.

In answer to Moses’ excuses why he was not the best candidate for the job, God said to tell the doubters, I AM who I AM sent him. No more explanation needed.

Sounds a little like Popeye took his song from this verse when he said, “I yam what I yam, and that’s all that I yam.”

Moses, like a lot of us, looked at who he was. He looked at his strengths and his weaknesses and decided he wasn’t up to accomplishing what God asked of him.

What Moses forgot, like a lot of us forget, is it’s not about him. It’s about God.

pixabay

I AM…able to see you through this difficult season in your life.

I AM…able to help you through the pain of this disease.

I AM…able to sustain you during this loss.

I AM…able to help you overcome this hurt and forgive.

I AM…able to do immeasurable more than you could ever dream or ask.

I AM who I AM.

When we claim Jesus as our Lord and King we can proclaim with confidence and boldness exactly who we are. We are a child of the Great I AM.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this please share it through the social media buttons.

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Exodus 3:14 (NKJV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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