Three words people with leprosy would immediately relate to. Three words Jesus' followers would've used to describe those in society with a disgusting skin disease that left permanent damage if not properly treated.
At least until Jesus did something mind-blowing in front of all of them.
"When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, 'Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.' Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. 'I am willing,' he said. 'Be clean!' Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy." - Matthew 8:1-3
Jesus touched the untouchable.
Jesus loved the unlovable.
Jesus served the undesirable.
And He was willing to heal this man in front of everyone so they understood what love required of them.
Having leprosy was incredibly lonely. Lepers were cast out of society and deemed a nobody. Their life was over. And yet, Jesus declared this man's story wasn't over.
Struggling is Inevitable
Something this story taught me is that struggling is inevitable. But struggling alone is an option.
This man had to make the conscious decision to approach Jesus and ask for help. He had to enter an environment where he knew he wasn't welcomed, wanted, or desired and seek Jesus' aid.
Was it easy? Absolutely not. It took an extreme amount of courage for him to approach Jesus in front of a large crowd of people who wanted nothing to do with him. But he had to step through his fear to be healed.
So yes, struggling is absolutely inevitable. But the choice is ours to struggle alone or to struggle in community.
It takes courage to be vulnerable.
It takes boldness to reach out.
But it is absolutely necessary if we are going to transition from surviving to thriving.
You don't have to struggle alone. Reach out and let's walk together.