One day while Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of religious law were sitting nearby. (It seemed that these men showed up from every village in all Galilee and Judea, as well as from Jerusalem.) And the Lord’s healing power was strongly with Jesus. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to take him inside to Jesus, but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So they went up to the roof and took off some tiles. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat down into the crowd, right in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, “Young man, your sins are forgiven. . . Luke 5:17-20 (NLT)
My granddaughter is in the thick of teenage rebellion. In all outward signs she seems to be the typical moody 17 year-old, earbuds and all. But away from our view, she has slipped into a very dark alternate life of drug use and using means to get those drugs that no grandmother wants to think about. You can imagine the turmoil and heartbreak that has resulted knowing the horrible situation her choices have led her to.
The thing is, she doesn’t see it. It doesn’t seem horrible to her. She has been convinced by her desires and the ways of this world that this is an acceptable way to live. After all, it’s her life and she can choose what to do with it. What she doesn’t realize is that she has been paralyzed by the world’s deceptive thinking. If she continues on this path, her life will wind down to a standstill and she will find herself struggling just to maintain the moment.
It’s so hard to know just what to do. It is so much easier to pray for God to heal an illness or provide a need. After all, these things are out of our control and in God’s hands. But this situation seems different. What do we do with this? We are convinced that because everyone has “free will” and can choose what they wish there is not much that we can change. It leaves us watching as our loved one lies down on their mat of hopelessness, all the while, worrying and waiting until they are ready to look to the Lord for help.
I would like to suggest that is just not the case. We can follow the lead of these very good friends found in the passage from Luke and grab the corners of the mat and haul them to the feet of Jesus. I love this picture. It gives me hope. It takes the power away from the hopeless situation I see, empowers me with what I can do and shows me what God will do in turn. Because of the faith of his friends, this man’s sins were forgiven and the story goes on to tell us his body was healed as well. Did you see that? Jesus acted on the friend’s faith.
I have seen this in action over and over as the women of the Bible study I attend have carried their sisters to the feet of Jesus. Most have gone willingly, but there are some who would have fought us off except they were paralyzed. They had to go where we carried them. Healing and restoration has happened and what’s more–we have witnessed and recounted the stories bringing the hope to even more women.
Everyone was gripped with great wonder and awe, and they praised God, exclaiming,
“We have seen amazing things today!”
It has been two years since I first pinned this. My granddaughter, now 19, has made a few small steps towards maturity. She still has a ways to go. Please grab a corner of her mat and help me carry her to the feet of Jesus. I would like her to see Him eye-to-eye. I know that because of the faith of others and the willingness to carry her to the feet of Jesus, in time, her sins will be forgiven, her body will be healed and to God’s glory she will take up her own mat and walk into her redeemed life. She will carry her story to other young women so they, too, can find hope in a God who loves them. We will see amazing things!
COMPEL Enhancement/tip—Lay, Lie and the Other Lie.