In the month of December 2010, I became a breast cancer survivor. I'm not sure it has totally sunk in yet. There are treatments yet to go through, but the truth remains. I am a cancer survivor. Through the skill of a surgeon's hands and the wonders of modern medicine, God has healed me. Thanks to my CaringBridge site, I've not only been able to keep family, friends, and others abreast of my journey, but I've also been blessed because I get to see how people are praying for me.
Which brings me to the story in Mark, chapter 2. I'm sure you know it already, but just in case, here it is:
When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”
But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there thought to themselves, “What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!”
Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”
And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!” (Mark 2:1-12)
Yes, Jesus performed a miracle, healing a man paralyzed since birth. Yes, there are several lessons contained within the above verses, all of them worthy of being studied and applied.
But think about this one: The miracle would not have happened without the amazing, determined, faith-filled friends who—rather than give up when the crowd was too great to reach the young rabbi—destroyed a roof to get their sick friend before Jesus.
Thank God for faith-filled friends who have carried me to Jesus time and again. Thank God for faith-filled loved ones who would dismantle a roof rather than let me remain outside.
How about you? Have you thanked God lately for those amazing, determined, faith-filled friends in your life?