This devotional is in honor of Bronlynn’s mom. Bronlynn says, “At 89, my mother is one of the strongest stretcher bearers I know.”
“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. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralyzed man, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven’” (Mark 2:4,5).
I recently finished a book on the life of Jesus called The Way by Adam Hamilton. The chapter on Jesus’ healing ministry referred to the story of the paralytic whose friends lowered him through the roof to be healed.
The passage doesn’t say it was the paralytic’s faith that healed him. Rather, it says “their” faith–which may have included the paralytic himself–but certainly included his friends.
This man’s friends had faith enough to do whatever it took to bring him before the Lord. They carried him, and they were not discouraged by the obstacles in their path. They dug a hole in the roof and lowered him right in front of Jesus.
Do you have any stretcher bearers in your life–people who have expended effort and time to carry you either literally or spiritually through your health challenges? I do, and I thank God for them.
During my worst season physically, mentally, and emotionally, I asked my mother why things weren’t getting better if people were praying for me.
She answered, “You don’t know how bad it would be if they weren’t.”
I made it through those agonizing months due, at least in part, to the faith and support of my stretcher bearers. They carried me before the throne of grace when I lacked the faith and ability to carry myself. And they continue to do so.
Not only do I have stretcher bearers, but I can be one. Although I am not physically able to help these people because of my own health issues or distance between us, I can pray for God’s strength, comfort, and healing, believing in faith that God will carry out His perfect will in their lives.
Praise God for the stretcher bearers who carry us! And praise Him for the blessing we have of carrying others.
Prayer: O God, thank You for the stretcher bearers in my life who have carried me to You in faith when I have been unable or unwilling to carry myself. Bless them, Lord. Show me how I can be a stretcher bearer to others, even through my own weaknesses, and give me the strength and desire to do so. Amen.
About the author:
Bronlynn Spindler lives in North Carolina and is blessed to have the support and encouragement of a wonderful husband, three daughters, and their husbands. God’s grace and strength have brought her through thyroid cancer and continue to sustain her through ongoing back pain, depression, headaches, multiple sensitivities, and fibromyalgia. You may view her blog of devotionals at http://www.aplaceofsprings57.blogspot.com
Who are your stretcher bearers? Take time to thank them and thank God for them. Are you a stretcher bearer? If not, ask God to show you how you can meet that need for someone else.
I like the music of Needtobreath and this is one of their songs “Brother” featuring Gavin DeGraw. It’s got a fun beat to it and is reminder of just how much we need each other, how we can assure those around us that we will be there for them. Hope it blesses you. -Lisa