“Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.” Mark 2:3-4
The paralyzed man had four great friends who were willing to not only carry him but, with tenacity and great effort, make a way for him to meet Jesus. Did the paralyzed man ask them to do all of this? Mark doesn’t tell us. But the next verse says that when Jesus saw the faith of his friends, he told the paralyzed man that his sins were forgiven.
Wait. What? Jesus didn’t say, “Take up your mat and walk” first, which is what everyone probably expected, including the four friends. Jesus saw that something else needed to be healed first — the man’s soul. Then he healed his legs. Both acts astonished even the skeptics in the crowd. But only the latter miracle was visible.
What does this story tell us? Sometimes it takes more than one person to free someone from a life of darkness and sin. Our prayers carry people to the feet of Jesus. However, we must be willing to allow Jesus to heal in the way he deems best. That may mean taking care of something we haven’t detected in our friend or family member. Until it is removed, the person is unable to move on and accept Jesus as Savior. They are paralyzed.
Don’t ever give up on the people for whom you are praying. The Holy Spirit will help you find creative ways to bring them to Jesus. But then, you have to let the Savior do what he needs to do and trust his timing.
Lord, I often cannot see you moving in someone else’s life or see them moving towards a life with you. Keep my faith and trust strong, because you came to earth and died so that everyone might believe in you and thus be saved. Help me to see new ways to help that person see you face to face, and also to realize it is not my job alone, but may take several others, and you, Lord, acting as well. Amen.
By Julie Cosgrove
Used by Permission
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