In the gospel song, “He Touched Me,” we have the relief of the saint who was shackled by a heavy burden, ‘neath the load of guilt and shame. Of course, this is referring to the forgiveness of sins and the freedom and joy it gives. The joy of the Lord becomes the strength of the new believer. We could apply this title “He Touched Me,”to the helping hand of the Lord in physical distress, trouble, or sickness.
Many, many weeks during this winter season, we have heard or seen many of God’s people in the throes of sickness of all kinds, flu, colds, viruses, and even cancer. Most of us know that it is hard to identify with these ones as we should, but we can all pray and ask the LORD for His touch on their condition. May the LORD touch you today in your infirmity, I pray.
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
He, our “sweet Jesus” as one saint said, is touched. As He saw the babe Ishmael and his mom Hagar, even so He sees us. In His Touch, we can be sure that He has clear vision that sees us where we are—Ishmael under a shrub, Elijah under a juniper tree, Nathaniel under his fig tree. The LORD gave Ishmael a well; we all need more physical water; we also need spiritual water, the Word of God. The LORD gave Elijah the touch of the angel and a command, “Arise and Eat.” Get up and get going but don’t forget the physical need that is necessary. Elijah’s depression was, in part due to inactivity as God’s prophet. The fear of a very strong-willed woman, Jezebel, had plunged Elijah into despair and paralysis. The LORD preached to Elijah and gave him another job to do. Get up and eat; get up and do the job you’re supposed to do.
Recently, I heard of a preacher who had taken his first church. His hero-Dad died; he was left with his mom’s care, the care of a new church family, and the care of his own new family. It overwhelmed him, but his father-figure, pastor-mentor, came to see him. He said to his pastor, “I’m not going in that pulpit anymore.” The older pastor looked at him with care but with discernment and said, “O, yes you are; that’s what we do, and you are going to do it.” This veteran pastor followed the LORD’s actions in Elijah’s life. The young preacher went into the pulpit that next Sunday where he is continuing as a loving, caring pastor for his flock.
Nathaniel was sitting under a fig tree, a personal place of worship when Jesus was introduced to him by his brother Philip. However, like the others, he was “under.” He was so much “under” this fig bush, that he was doubting in a negative way any revelation of truth. He said very negatively and unbelievingly, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” I’m not sure he was doing much real worship, but at least he followed his habit of going to the fig tree. The problem was that he was “under.” He was under the influence of doubt and unbelief. Many negative believers are under the influence of such. They need what Philip said to Nathaniel, “Come and see.” Oh, if we could only see the Lord Jesus in our travail?
He, our Lord, suffered in our place. Suffering was substitutionary; it was for another’s good. Ah, would to God we could see that our sickness and suffering is for another’s good. How can that be. As our response glorifies God in the midst of tribulation, we show the great grace of God. We are living examples of God’s grace more when we are suffering than at any other time. However, during our “under” experiences, it is hard to come and see without a helper. Would to God, we all had a Philip who would lead us to Jesus. Jesus told Nathaniel, “thou shalt see greater things than these.” If we can just get out from “under” the fig tree and get to Jesus, He will show us great and mighty things which we know not.
The greatest negative of any believer is getting “under” the shrub, juniper tree, or fig tree of doubt, discouragement, and unbelief.
Rom 5:2-6 rejoice in hope of the glory of God. … glory in tribulations…And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed…