What are you willing to do? When the leper came to Jesus he told him, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus’ response was simply, “I am willing.” A few verses later, the centurion comes to Jesus and asks him to heal his servant, Jesus’ quickly says, “Let me go and heal him.” (Matthew 8: 1-13)
I lack willingness most of the time. So often, I have to conduct an inner conversation in order to proceed in the way that I should. Jesus didn’t need to get mentally and emotionally prepared to serve or to heal or to minister, he was always willing. Reading the gospels, you get a sense that his willingness to help was not just a part of his heart but had transferred to his body so that his entire demeanor showed willingness to care and help others. To get to the point where compassion is bursting from my fingertips and not just my heart is a sign of true spiritual growth.
How do we start to transform our bodies to reflect where our heart is? First, we have to intentionally give our bodies to the work of God. We have to turn our bodies over to service to God. Second, we have to train our bodies. Just as an athlete trains their body to respond appropriately during a game, we have to train our body to respond appropriately to holy circumstances. Jesus’ ministry did not start until he had fasted for forty days. He was training his body to be completely dependent on God for everything. Our training needs to include times of fasting, even times of solitude in order for us to recognize where our limitations start and God’s power begins.
We need a movement of willingness.
“Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing.””