Being paralyzed is not a bad thing…when you have friends who have the FAITH to carry you on a mat to a God who can repair your legs and make you walk!
Of course I am referring to the story found in scripture in Mark 2:3-5, “Some men came bringing to him [Jesus] 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. When Jesus saw THEIR FAITH, he said to the paralyzed man, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven'” [emphasis mine].
I love and enjoy the strong “faith of my friends!” At 54, I am so thankful that I can say that I have literally never been paralyzed to the point of not walking….but I have experienced another kind of “paralyzed”. Maybe you have too. Paralyzed by fear, hurt, disappointment, crisis, fatigue, a diagnosis, or…you fill in the blank. I have experienced many times the ”losing my legs or footing”. One of the grandest things I have experienced during these times is the “strong FAITH of my friends” who carried me on my mat!
When God called me to write, part of His plan for me was to encourage others to know Jesus and develop a personal relationship with Him. To lead and motivate others to lead a life of significance as we live our daily lives. To demonstrate, from my “growing relationship with Christ” on a daily basis, that God is ever present and how His word can be powerful when we read and apply it.
We are always a “work in progress.” God CAN BE SEEN and felt by US every day if we “develop the eyes to see.” With this being said, I have learned to apply scripture and look for others who live out scripture as an example for me to duplicate.
WE can all be “that friend” who joins others by picking up a “corner of the mat” of a friend or loved one who is paralyzed and, by our faith, bring them to Jesus!
I have experienced this type of loving faith in others so many times in my life. Just recently, I have had several friends that have been over the top diligent in “carrying me on my mat,” providing a get away for this overwhelmed MOB…carrying me to a quiet place for a time of prayer and rest. The kind of “over and above actions” we read about in Mark 2 where friends not only carried the paralyzed man, but worked through a crowd. They climbed to the top of a house, lifted the roof and lowered their friend down so that he could see Jesus and be healed.
Experiencing this kind of love and faith from friends CAN BE life changing and life giving and certainly bring about HEALING…no matter the kind of “paralysis”. Yes, I have had friends who have done this for me not just recently, but many times in my life. From the diagnosis of a chronic illness in our 5 year old…to the death of my mother…to be overwhelmed with walking a new road as an MOB:)
My recent “ride on the mat” and the healing that has come from the “faith of others” who were interceding and carrying me to Jesus with their words and actions has motivated me to make sure that I continuously look for ways to be a “mat carrier and a roof lifter!”
What a mind blower to be able to have first-hand experience at watching someone else have their “hurts healed” ultimately by Jesus but because of your faith and navigation, you were able to participate.
I encourage you with this from very personal experience…whether you are the one lying on the mat or the one carrying it…if you live long enough, you will be in both places.
God’s plan for us is to experience Him in either situation. So if you are in a time in your life where your “legs/faith” is strong, look to carry someone on their mat. If you are at a time where your legs are weak, allow “faith-filled friends” to carry you.
Listen and let their FAITH AND PRAYERS plop you down right in front of Jesus who is the GREAT HEALER.
As my legs are getting stronger, I am looking to “pick up the mat” of a friend. Sometimes that “pick up” looks like intercessory prayer…sometimes a lunch date…sometimes many texts and phone calls to check in. Sometimes it looks like a trip to the beach where you are “carrying that person on a mat” to encourage and pray…for several days. No matter what, you will experience the supernatural hand of God.
There is a beautiful prayer of dedication of the temple by Solomon in I Kings 8. It is quite long so I won’t quote it all but it is an excellent example of praying scripture, praying for others, being specific in prayers. Verse 52 is my prayer for you today whether you are on a mat or picking up the mat for someone else. “May your [God’s] eyes be open to your servant’s plea and to the plea of your people Israel, and may you listen to them whenever they cry out to you.”
Won’t you join me in looking for opportunities to be a “mat carrier and a roof lifter!” for others? It will speak volumes to those around you and may be the only “Bible” some people read.