Here’s one amazing promise Jesus made to someone that I wish we could all claim today during this COVID pandemic: “And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour” (Matthew 8:13).
Of course, the mighty military leader didn’t demand that Jesus heal his beloved servant, he humbly “beseeched” (earnestly begged) Jesus. In fact, it doesn’t actually say that the centurion even asked Jesus to heal his servant! He only got so far as to explain his predicament—that his servant was suffering terribly, and Jesus intervened, offering to come and heal him. The centurion, however, was so respectful of Jesus’s time that he quickly asked simply for Jesus to “speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed” (Matthew 8:8).
This seems like the perfect example for us as we pray for our loved ones. I think our natural tendency is to ask for a miraculous healing on the spot, or an end to COVID world-wide (which I definitely find myself doing), but perhaps the better way is simply to bring the situation to Jesus. What do we want? Relief for our loved ones (and frankly, for those who are suffering everywhere). Like all our burdens, Jesus wants us to bring them to him and let him deal with them as He sees fit. Do we have enough faith in Jesus and in his wisdom to simply bring our troubles to him without demanding a particular solution?
Of course, Jesus went above and beyond what the centurion was hoping for in providing relief, but Jesus did give the centurion this imperative: “Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee” (Matthew 8:13). If we are to follow the centurion’s example, this puts significant pressure on us! Our job is to “carry on and keep believing.”
What does this look like? I think it incorporates a lot of the “Carry On and Keep . . .” ideas—keep calm for sure, but perhaps even more. As we are carrying on, I think Jesus also wants us to be strong in our faith and never give up hope!
To be patient and prayerful.
To be happy because we believe that God is good and will work everthing out in the end for good—not only in our lives, but also in the lives of all who love him.
Finally, Jesus came so that we could live an abundant life even in the midst of suffering . . . casting all our cares on him, knowing that he will take care of us (1 Peter 5:7). This may be relatively hard or easy for each of us, depending on the depth of our sufferings and the strength of our faith, but this is what God wants for each of us, and He is worthy of our trust!
Text for this meditation: “And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour” (Matthew 8:5-13).