I’ve been thinking about a bible story recently. The about a paralyzed man (it doesn’t say how he became paralyzed) and how he is carried to Jesus by his friends. They get to the house where Jesus is supposed to be and discover the house party is standing room only. There is no way to haul some guy on a stretcher to Jesus in that crowded house…there’s no room.
I can almost imagine his friends who have carried him for a few village blocks. They breathe heavily, trying to tap some reserves of strength as sweat drips from their arms and faces. There is a purpose for this burden. There is a reason for this journey. They want their friend to be healed. Anyone else might have given up at this point. Anyone else might have said, “well we tried, I’m sorry but there’s just no other way.” Yet these friends don’t give up. These men find another way to bring their paralyzed friend to Jesus – They tear a hole in someone else’s roof. Talk about persistence. Talk about determination.
It makes me wonder how persistent we are with our friends in need. There are times when we must carry the burdens of others. There are times when we must bring broken souls to Jesus only to discover the house is full. How far will we go to carry that stretcher? How far will we go so that others will find the healing that they need? We can be a healer in the ways that we serve and love those who are hurting. We can provide a means for others to find Jesus, but we may have to go out of our way to do so. We may have to exert a lot of energy and time. Are we willing? Are we available?
Carrying the stretcher for those in need isn’t about our glory…it never was. Carrying these burdens and sharing the load for those who have succumbed to life’s challenges is a purest example of love and self-sacrifice. Are we still willing to pick up that stretcher? Are we still available when it cuts into “me” time? Displaying authentic care and sacrifice will cost us something. Are we prepared for the consequences of authentic care and love? I hope our answer is “yes“, because if we talk about evangelism yet we not willing to step up and carry the stretcher then action speaks louder than our fickle, shallow words and promises.
Give of yourself. Carry the burdens of others. Walk beside them and encourage them. Don’t quit and walk away. Be willing to give sacrificially without any thought of personal gains or returns…after all, isn’t that what Christ did for us?
-Just something more to ponder today.