"Some men came along carrying a paralytic on a mat." Luke 5:18
I like putting myself in a Bible story and gleaning some truth by being a part of what is happening. In the story of the paralyzed man being carried by his friends to Jesus, I have imagined myself to be the paralytic in need of Jesus. Indeed, we are all paralyzed in some way, by our circumstances, by our past, by our health, even by the way we think.
But today I am putting myself in the place of one of the paralytic's friends. They don't give up. Even if the crowd around Jesus doesn't make a way for them to pass through the door, they make their own way. They went up through the roof. They burrowed through the tiles of the roof, and lowered their friend! Can you imagine the hardship they went through? Not only the climbing up to the roof, but carrying their friend through the streets in a mat! It could not have been easy balancing the stretcher through cobblestones, and weaving their way through people and other carts and horses. Because they cared, because of their love and compassion for their friend.
How many people have I carried through the streets, up to the roof, and broken tiles for? Has my faith and love brought someone to the notice of Jesus, enough for Him to say, "I see your faith. I will heal your friend!" Sometimes we give up because of the "crowds", the busyness, the hopelessness. But if we want to see "incredible things", like the people near Jesus, we should persevere and push through the crowds, and whatever obstacles are put in our way! And we should remember, that even if we put down the mat, we can always take it up again, and continue the journey.
Lord, there are so many in need of our prayers and our help. May I always make time to bring my friends, my neighbors, my hurting country, to Your notice. May You see our tiny, mustard seed faith, and answer our prayers!