All around me there are hurting people. One of my friend’s is undergoing cancer treatment. Another lies seriously ill in ICU. Others are dealing with grief that wraps its icy fingers around their hearts long after those around them have forgotten and moved on. Some are facing the betrayal of a spouse; others are struggling to overcome childhood hurts and abuse.

My own struggles are not this big, but—even then—navigating everyday life leaves me feeling lost and depleted sometimes.

Today I came across a beautiful encounter in the Bible. It spoke to me of just what we should do when we are struggling with illness, loss, or even just making sense of it all. The first part of it is found in Matthew 8:2.

Suddenly a man with leprosy approached Jesus. He knelt before him, worshiping. “Lord,” the man said, “if you want to, you can make me well again.”

Does something surprise you in that text? Jump out at you as astonishing? It did for me. Before the leper says a word, before Jesus has done anything to change his situation, the man worships Jesus. This is what spoke to me today. It’s easy giving God glory and praise when we have the answers to our prayers or when we have our healing from God. But do we spend time worshiping God before that, while our situation remains unchanged?

I also love the boldness with which the man approaches Jesus and the faith he displays in his words…”if you want to…you can…”

Let’s carry on reading:

Jesus touched him. “I want to,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared.

The man worshiped, and Jesus touched. He touched an unclean leper; the one others gave a wide berth to. I have experienced this same touch when I come to Him. In this instance, Jesus’ touch brought healing. For me, Jesus’ touch brings healing in other ways. It’s brought peace into turmoil and understanding into confusion. It imparts a new perspective or direction. It fills me with patience or love in a relationship I’m struggling with, or gives me a promise to cling to when I’m feeling hopeless. Jesus’ touch is gentle but powerful, and even though it is unseen, it leaves lasting changes.

So today I just want to encourage you–no matter what you may be struggling with, go to Him boldly, worshiping Him, and then expect and receive His life-changing touch.