Laying on a mat with his friends surrounding him, he wanted to walk more than anything. It wasn’t enough.
Knowing there was a man in a close location rumored to heal ailments, he wanted to be healed. It wasn’t enough.
He was brought to the very place where hope and healing was waiting, but he still laid on the mat. It wasn’t enough.
In a last ditch effort, his friends carried him past the crowds, to the roof and painstakingly dug a hole in the tightly woven thatch to be able to lower him right in front of the Healer. Finally with the eyes of Jesus on him and healing extended, it was enough.
I wonder how many times that man had prayed, begged and bargained to be healed. I wonder how many times his family and friends had tearfully held his hand through his struggles and did their own begging and bargaining. I wonder how many times those close to him or even the man himself had tried every trick in the book, every doctor and paid whatever price for a miracle and it wasn’t enough.
I recently spoke to a friend about a person who is struggling in some of the darkest battles that a person can face here on Earth. I knew it had been bad a few days ago, so I asked how things were going now.
“Everything seems like it is better and the person appears to be in a better place.”
Although our God is a God of miracles and one-stop healings; we need to be the friends who carry the mat and tear through a roof until the miracle happens. How many times, as Christians, have we placed on our hands and prayers over someone and walked away thinking “OK…we prayed. Got that checked off the list. It’s in God’s hands now.” How many times have we carried our friend to the doorstep and thought “Well, that’s close enough.”
Sometimes the miracle isn’t immediate and that struggle, in itself, can be part of the glorious purpose.
As Christians, we put a lot of faith in the possibility of a miracle that sometimes we overlook the part of being the ones willing to help carry anothers’ burden right to the feet of Jesus when they can’t carry it themselves.
The friends carrying the mat weren’t content with praying over their friend and thinking that was enough. They didn’t walk away. They kept carrying their friend until the miracle was given. This is what we have been called to do in our families and our friendships; picking up the mat and carrying the weight through the hard times and right up until the moment God uses it to His purpose.
If you know someone who is struggling, please don’t put the burden of strength on them that your prayers are enough to heal them. Sometimes I think this is the hardest part of being a struggling Christian; feeling like you have to be strong because you are being prayed for. Sometimes they are that man on the mat; immobile to get to the feet of the Great Physician. Let them know that you are willing to pick up the mat and carry them through the crowds, up on the roof and all the way into God’s arms. Assure them that even if it hurts, even if they are having hard days, even if they slip and fall, even if they can’t find a reason to live…you will carry them as God would carry you.
Categories: September 2013 diary entry