“So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and He preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, 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 and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on” (Mark 2:2-4).
While the most noteworthy part of this story was probably that the paralyzed man was healed, the thing that strikes me as most encouraging, was that the paralytic had four friends who were willing to take him to Jesus–something he couldn’t have done on his own.
Not only did they care enough to carry him to the house where Jesus was, but when they saw the crowds would make it impossible for them to get near Jesus, they thought of another plan that would get their friend where Jesus couldn’t miss seeing him.
The others who were there may not have been impressed that the roof of the house was damaged, or that this man got to see Jesus ahead of others who’d been waiting. Maybe they were angry about that, felt it was unfair. The religious teachers, muttering to themselves, were probably just irritated by the disturbance–and Jesus’ actions.
But Jesus was impressed by the faith of the four men–those who carried the mat.
We may have tasks we find difficult, or even impossible, due to illness. Do we have friends who will help us? The tasks are only a part of what we need.
These friends carried the mat to Jesus. They took their friend to someone who cared about him and could help him.
We may not be able to go physically to Jesus as they could–even if we had friends to carry us–but we can take the needs of our friends before God in prayer, knowing that God cares about them. We are encouraged to carry one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2).
Rest Ministries has brought friends, like these four men, to carry my mat–but also allowed me to carry other people’s mats for them. It’s a gift and a privilege.
Prayer: Father, I’m grateful for those who will “carry my mat” to You. Help us to be aware of opportunities to lift others up to You in the same way. Thank You that You are always available to meet with us and hear our prayers. Amen.
About the Author:
Fiona Burrows lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is thankful that God walks each step of her life with her, and that He is teaching her new things as she learns to live with chronic back pain. She enjoys finding time for reading, writing, and photography, and to share those things with others. You can contact her in the Sunroom, or read more of her writing on her blog there.
Do you have friends who carry your mat? Are you carrying the mat of others you know–or is there someone you need to be doing that for now? We can all pray! If you don’t, watch our messages here as we will soon have our new social network, the Sunroom–you’re sure to find friends there.
I am recovering from my trip to Seattle to celebrate the life of a loved one who is now in heaven. Videos will be back soon, but my body is crashing at the moment. Hugs. -Lisa