As I related before, we jetted off to Europe for our summer vacation.
It was so glorious that I totally forgot about my Citi Mastercard payment until we returned home and it was overdue. Since I charge practically everything to maximize my cash back rewards, I knew the penalty would be hefty.
Sure enough. So I ran for my laptop and initiated a live chat with Citi. Here’s the actual transcript that I emailed to myself at the end of the chat:
Me: i was in europe and missed my payment due date. I was hit with $28.00 late fee and $49.93 interest. Can I get forgiveness?
Eva: Hi Barnaby, Good Morning!
Eva: Let me check the details for you right now. As you are a loyal customer to Citi, I can waive off the charge for you. A Late Fee Refund adjustment for $28.00 due to Other. A purchase Interest charge adjustment of $49.93 will be credited to the account.
Me: thank you so much!
I didn’t really deserve the money back. I had clearly violated the terms of the credit card agreement and they were within their rights to follow through on the interest and late fee charges.
It made me think about God’s forgiveness. We clearly violate his commandments and don’t deserve grace, but he grants it anyway. If we are bold enough to ask.
There are many examples from the bible of sinful and undeserving people who boldly beseech Jesus’ mercy, and are rewarded for it.
Often, the boldness stems from a desire for relief from a physical ailment:
- Healing of woman who had bled for 12 years (Matthew 9:22)
- Healing of 10 lepers (Luke 17:19)
- Recovery of sight by blind beggar (Luke 18:42)
At parting, Jesus said a similar thing to each: “Your faith has made you well.”
Physically healed, yes, but more importantly, spiritually saved. The word “well” (sozo in Greek) in these passages is the same word translated “to save” in John 3:16-17:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Does Jesus Still Heal?
Those old bible stories are nice, you may be thinking, but Jesus isn’t walking around my town healing anyone anymore.
No, but he’s still available. I’ve never tried live chat 🙂 but you do have a direct connection.
We have good friends whose 14-year-old daughter suffered from CRPS, a debilitating nerve condition. She had missed many days of school, endured a multi-week stay in the hospital, and was facing months or years of disability. As a coping mechanism, she started a “He is Greater than CRPS” podcast.
Then suddenly, a reversal. I’ll let Jackie’s mother describe it:
Yesterday we were all at our lowest point with Jackie’s pain journey. She was in bed all day and couldn’t move without excruciating pain; she had given up hope of recovery. After her aqua PT session, a brother we didn’t even know prayed for her on the phone as we drove home. She felt something “melt” off her back. When we got home, she rejected her crutches and WALKED into the house, then UP THE STAIRS all by herself! She kept walking all over, while I was freaking out and telling her to be careful and weeping. She said she doesn’t feel any more CRPS pain anywhere…She walked into school this morning with a smile on her face. All this time, I knew that Jesus could heal her, but had begun to give up hope that He would…I believe that all the prayers that have been prayed for her were heard…Jesus is still doing His thing. “Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!”
A testament to the power of prayer, no doubt, but also: Was Jackie healed because she desperately lunged for Jesus’ robe, the way the bleeding woman did? Did he also do a deeper work in her heart? What do you think?