Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: The nine

Do you remember growing up when an adult had to sit you down and give you a good “talking to” because you were doing something wrong?  Now, I’m not talking about being yelled out, shamed, or being made to feel small.  I’m talking about an adult lovingly and patiently pointing out what was wrong with your behavior and what you needed to do to correct it.

Well today, at 39 years of age, I had one of those talking to’s.  The words were spoken with kindness, but firmness.

I was rebuked – not shamed.
I was humbled – not belittled.
I was forgiven – not cast off.
I was loved – not despised.

So who gave me this sit down, talking to?  God – through his word.

If you read yesterday’s post, you’ll remember that I confessed not been spending time with God.  So, after I exercised, I purposefully turned on the Chris Tomlin Worship channel on Pandora.  As I went about my morning routine, I sang praises to God.  I also sang choruses such as “Oh how He loves us, Oh how He loves us, Oh how He loves you and me.”  It definitely started out my day focused on Him.

As a result, I found myself seeking God out more through the day, whether it was through prayer or thinking about scripture.  My heart definitely felt lighter and it was good!

When I came home from work, I read from Lisa Whelchel’s “The Busy Mom’s Guide to Bible Study.” In it, I read the story of the ten lepers who were healed.

On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee.  And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests,” And as they went they were cleansed.  Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’s feet, giving him thanks.  Now he was a Samaritan.  Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed?  Where are the nine?  Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; you faith has made you well.”  (Luke 17:11-19)

At first when I read it, nothing really stuck out to me.  I took it as a reminder to thank God – but I’ve known that so it was nothing revolutionary.  And so I went about my day.

Later, my family and I went to the Y.  We all ran on the track for a little bit, then Jeff took the boys down to the pool.  I stayed at the track to keep running.  And as I was running, God took that opportunity to give me the talking to.  Not out loud, but in my spirit.  And here’s what the conversation sounded like:

God: Becki, you are one of the 9 lepers.

Me: What???  I’ve never been a leper!  And if I was, I would be the one that came back to thank you, not one of the ones that didn’t.

God: No, you’ve never had leprosy.  But just as the lepers called out, you called out in the midst of your obesity and asked me to have mercy on you.  And I did.  I brought you to a point of brokenness where you surrendered to me your desire to eat whatever you want and to not exercise.  You believed me that you didn’t have to be overweight forever.  You were obedient and disciplined in your eating and exercising.  Just like the lepers believed me that I would heal them and they obediently went to the priest when I told them to go.

Me: hmmm … I see the connection about crying out for mercy and you giving it.  I also get that the lepers were obedient to you by going to the priest and I was obedient by tracking my food and exercising.  But, why does that make me one of the nine lepers.  I have thanked you.

God: Have you?

Me: Yes!

God: Have you?

Me: Yes.

God: Have you?

Me: Yes? Well at least I thought I did.

God: Originally you may have.  But lately whenever anyone asks how you lost weight, you never give me any credit.  You boast of all the work you’ve done.  You tell about your faithfulness in logging your food and getting up every morning to exercise.  You talk more about Jillian Michaels than you do about me.  Instead of thanking me, you are applauding yourself.  You have stopped asking me for mercy and strength and started doing things on your strength.  Just like the 9 lepers who didn’t return, you have gone on your own way.

***I have to stress that when I say that God said these things, it’s what I heard in my spirit. I am not trying to put words in God’s mouth.  Many people might just say I’m talking to myself … take it as you may.

Ouch!  That was hard to hear.  But like I said at the beginning, God spoke in kindness.

I was rebuked – not shamed.
I was humbled – not belittled.

And the best part, I was then reminded of the song I heard that morning.  “Oh, how he loves us.  Oh, how he loves us.  Oh, how he loves you and me.”  And I knew that God calls me to holiness and obedience.  He desires my thanksgiving and heart.  But his mercy and love covers over my shortcomings and failures and imperfections.  Oh how he loves me!

I was forgiven – not cast off.
I was loved – not despised.

So today, I say Thank You God.  Thank you for hearing my cry for mercy in the midst of my obesity.  Thank you for enabling me to lose weight.  Thank you for the healing you are working in my heart and mind.  Forgive me for taking the credit away from you.  Forgive me for lifting myself above you.  Help me to love you and honor you and praise you with all of my heart, all of my mind, all of my strength, and all of my soul.  I say it again, Thank You God!

Have you cried out to God for something?  Has he heard your cry and given you your request?  If so, are you the tenth leper who returns to thank God? Or, like me, are you one of the nine who goes on their way?  Return and thank him for he is good, his love endures forever!

Pressing on together,




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