Today has been a pretty good day for me. I have talked about Partners and Burma to my heart’s content. So much that I am feeling a little tired of my own voice. Imagine that!
This morning I got up early before the rest of the family rose. Like a Proverbs 31 woman I was up before dawn preparing breakfast for my family (cereal and milk), and then I had my quiet time. I wanted to reflect, think and pray. I thought that perhaps at such an early hour God would speak to me.
The Scripture my devotion lead me to was Mark 2:1-12. It is the story about the four friends who lower the paralyzed man down through the roof and place him right before the feet of Jesus, making it impossible for Jesus to ignore them. Such guts those guys had, and what imagination! Recently I read the exact same Scripture for my devotion and as I closed my eyes and asked what it may mean, I felt Jesus say: “I need you to help.” I thought that was a cool thing to hear. It made me feel needed and called by Jesus. In that room, all those thousands of years ago, I could have been one of the people that moved stuff away for Jesus to have time to heal and preach. I could even have been one of the ones serving food to everybody. I could possibly have been the one standing next to Jesus holding his notes. The best scenario would have been that I was one of the four guys lowering the paralyzed man down through the roof. A very meaningful position.
Today, as I read the passage again, I heard something entirely different: “You are the paralyzed man who needs the help of the four friends.” What a shocking thing to realize for somebody as capable as myself! But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was true. I am in need of people around me that can lower me down (a pretty stressful job) and put me before the feet of Jesus for me to get fixed by him. I cannot get there by myself, but I need the brothers and sisters around me to get me there. And I am pretty sure that that is the intention God had all along. We are not supposed to lower ourselves down, but we are supposed to depend on others. In that comes real humility, but also the true blessing of belonging to a fellowship.
It is the way it is supposed to be. We all take turns being the paralyzed person on the mat, or one of the helpers. But I am pretty sure that we all need time on the mat first, and then we can get up, ready to serve and help.
Wonder what devotion is awaiting tomorrow morning. Hopefully nothing about fasting…