How far are you willing to go for your friend?
Is there a limit to caring? To generosity?
There once were some guys that wanted their friend to experience healing so much, they climbed on a roof, created a hole, and lowered him down so that he could be present in the room with Jesus.
Think about what it would have been like to be sitting there and then all of a sudden, lowered down is a guy on a stretcher . . . talk about “crashing a party!”
The Gospel of Mark makes it clear for us . . .Jesus was impressed not by the man’s faith, but by the faith of his friends. “Because of your faith, he is forgiven.”
Not only did their faith open a hole in a roof, but it also opened a world of possibilities for the man. Don’t you bet the people moved out of their way to leave the house, even though they wouldn’t make room for him when he arrived?
What cool friends, right?
They give powerful meaning to the prayer “please.” It’s a prayer of “intercession” – praying on behalf of someone else.
Those friends LITERALLY carried their paralyzed friend, and they let the weight of his condition become their weight!
They let his burden become their burden.
They let his problem create problems for them.
In a way, his paralysis became their paralysis, and their ability to move became his.
We have no clue if he had faith, but their faith brought about a miracle because his friends cared so much about him. They LET his problems become their own. Willingly.
What amazing friends.
When was the last time you allowed someone else’s stuff to become your own?
Most often, we try to avoid problems. We go to great lengths to keep our lives stress-free, problem-free. But part of life – and part of living like Jesus, is not just being willing to “endure” the problems of our friends, but maybe to even seek them out, to take them on ourselves on their behalf. Just like those four friends.
When they assumed his problem and condition, a miracle happened.
What if you and I were the cause of someone else’s miracle?
When someone used to join the mother church of West, Williamson’s Chapel, as a last part of the membership vow, we would say to them,
“Guess what?!?! We have some great news for you! Our problems – well, now they have become your problems. BUT – our joys, they are also now your joys!”
Basically, we are in it together! What a beautiful part of being a church.
Make someone else’s “stuff” your problem today. Then, pray for them . . . asking God, “Please . . . help them . . .” Lastly, let your friend know you did this . . . and then watch – I’ll bet a miracle ends up not being too difficult to see!