During this time of quarantine, some wonderful and extraordinary occurrences have taken place. We’ve learned some new technology—Facetime and Zoom, for example. Neighbors have gone out of their way to help each other. And at drive-in churches, parishioners honked their horns or flashed their lights during sermons.
Creative ways people have stayed in touch or expressed their love abound. Blue tape has been used to make Tic-Tac-Toe boards on sliding glass doors or windows of nursing homes. Friends drive to the homes of their loved ones, blowing their horns until the front door opens, and the occupants read words of love on homemade signs.
A heartwarming story recorded long ago shows us the love of friends and what they did during a desperate time. They wanted to get their paralyzed friend to Jesus. They’d heard of the home the Master was visiting, and carried this man to Him on a mat. But the jam-packed house had a “No Vacancy” sign hanging on the front door. They tried the back door, too, but couldn’t gain access. In their tenacious love for this friend, one of them looked up and decided the housetop was the way to go. Using creative genius and muscle, they removed tiles from the roof and lowered the mat with perfect precision – right in front of Jesus.
This event in Luke 5 gives no mention of this man’s thoughts. No doubt overwhelmed by his friends’ love and desire to have him healed, he eagerly trusted their plan. Hope rose at the mention of Jesus, but defeat greeted him at the front door. What’s this? Fear invaded as they carried him onto the roof, ripped off enough tiles for him to fit through, then tied ropes to the ends of his mat. They’ve gone mad! And he was powerless to stop them. He saw the strain his friends bore as they lowered him into the house. His mat swayed and wobbled as they pulled together to handle his weight. Silence filled the house, and bewildered faces appeared beside his mat. Then Jesus spoke, and his life forever changed. He walked home that day, forgiven of his sins, a new creation.
Jesus knew this man long before He came face-to-face with him. And He loved him enough to give him the gift no other could. Eternal healing.
The Savior sees us now. We may feel paralyzed, stuck in a tile-breaking experience. Maybe our mats wobble a bit. We’re strained. The house is loud, or much too quiet. But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Prov. 18:24b, NIV)
Like this man, we may expect, want, or have our focus on a front-door miracle. But what if the Lord has a much bigger, better plan? Let’s choose to trust in the Lord with all our hearts, not stay paralyzed in our own ways, and in everything we do, acknowledge that He is in control, and will lead us home. (Prov. 3:5-6)
By Amre Cortadino
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