As we continue along this journey of dealing with “unthinkable circumstances” in our lives and in the lives of those around us today I’d like to focus on the “those around us” part. Carol Kent sums it up well in chapter 4 of her book “When I Lay My Isaac Down” using the term “stretcher bearers.” It’s taken from a story told twice in the gospels, in Mark and in Luke 5:17-26. The very short version is there is a paralyzed man who can’t get to Jesus for any kind of help because of his paralysis. However, some friends come and carry him on his stretcher into Jesus presence. It wasn’t easy to move him through the crowds – in fact they carried him to the roof of the house where Jesus was and lowered him through the roof to Jesus.
There are times when our unthinkable circumstances can “paralyze” us. We then need our friends to help us through those times. We need to allow them to help us. Often our pride gets in the way. I remember sitting at my table one evening very early in our story of “unthinkable circumstances.” Overwhelmed with thoughts, wondering what to do next. I was trying to keep up with “business as usual” type activities and deal with the new chaos in our life. I answered the telephone to hear a friend, a casual friend – not even one of my “best buddies” say, “Jody, you need to allow us to help you. Don’t worry about the children’s ministry. We will take care of it. Let us do this.” The Lord had laid it on her heart that I was struggling, not wanting to let anything go. She obeyed. The kids were taken care of and I was relieved of some pressure.
The paralyzed man in scripture faced a big obstacle. The crowd was so big he couldn’t get through. His friends saw his need and they worked together to help him get to Jesus. Jesus then took care of him. That’s a lesson for everyone involved. The paralyzed man was healed because he allowed others to help him get to Jesus. The friends saw the power of listening to the call (in their hearts) for help and obeying. I’m sure their faith grew as they watched the miracle happen. God was glorified in every step of this act.
Are you allowing others to help you when they offer? Are you helping others? Are you listening to the prompts of the Holy Spirit in your heart and reaching out? Can you share a time when you have been on either side of this type of act to encourage others to do the same?