Are You the Only Exception?

Do you feel like an exception? Are you the only person like you (or do you live as if you are)?

What is it that makes you feel so different from everyone else? Do you feel like an outcast because of what you do/can't do, can/can't be, have/don't have, did/didn't do? You and I live based on what we believe is true, especially when it's about who we think we are.

Here's the truth: yes, each of us is messed up, and often less uniquely than we think. Regardless of nature or nurture or consequences, it all boils down to being sinners in a sinful world. But there's such good news for us.

Think back to the people Jesus noticed while He was on earth. Who did He spend time with? Who did He heal? He healed the blind, deaf, lame, and sick. He hung out with prostitutes, thieves, and the socially unacceptable. These people were outcasts, rejected by society, and considered dirty. Jesus sees the exceptions. He knows and loves the outcasts. He's not bothered by these people; rather, He seeks them out. He heals the sick, frees captives, and brings joy to the broken. This is us! We're sick, broken, blind, and before the Lord rescued us, we were dead.

Maybe you've convinced yourself that if Jesus "fixes" this one thing, then you'll be great. Were the blind guys "fixed" after Jesus restored their vision? Maybe their lives improved for a while, but they still aged and died. If they were fixed, it wasn't because Jesus gave them sight; it's because Jesus gave them Himself.

Let this thought bring comfort: Jesus notices you. He knows what it's like to be human (Hebrews 2:14-18). What a wonderful God that He would notice exceptions like us! He knows what will truly fix you, and that's being known and loved by Him. Take joy in being an outcast because He's proven over and over again that's who He sees. Come to God in humility, asking Him for healing that lasts. Choose to stop listening to the voice that tells you how different you are, and listen to the voice of the Savior:

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).

"Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.' Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:5b-7).

Read more about Jesus' healing and restoration in Mark 5:21-43, Mark 7:24-30, John 9.