“And it happened when he (Jesus) was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored him, saying, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’ Then he (Jesus) put out his hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ Immediately the leprosy left him.” (Lk 5: 12-13)
The man “full of leprosy” has great faith; he is absolutely sure that the Lord “can” make him clean. He does not, however, presume that the Lord “wants” to. “If You are willing,” he says, “You can make me clean,” placing himself and his horrible disease quite literally at the Lord’s feet. And Jesus does not reply, as perhaps some would expect, “But of COURSE I want to make you clean!” No. He simply says, I am willing (Θέλω); be cleansed. The time had come, according to God’s will and wisdom, for this man to be free of his disease.
This may be difficult for me to accept, but the fact is, it is sometimes God’s will that I endure various ailments or defects, physical and/or spiritual, and remain “unclean,” as was the leper for a prolonged period of time. Through my own weaknesses, be they physical or spiritual, I learn compassion for others with similar weaknesses, as well as gratitude for little things. Today let me be grateful for whatever God sends me, and humbly ask Him to cleanse what needs cleansing, in His time. “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”