Paralyzed man friends lowering Him down to Jesus

Mark 2:1-5  A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Jesus forgave the man and healed Him.

Mark 2:11,12 I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all.

As I have shared before in previous blogs…I have been chronically ill for a long time and it has been no easy road.  I’ve had to deal with a lot of physical pain and suffering.  When I had cancer I got a lot of empathy and many well wishers and prayers.  But with this chronic illness that I’ve suffered with for the past 21 years the physical pain and limitations although very difficult at times does not compare to the pain that I’ve had from the loss of friends and the MANY negative comments that I’ve had questioning my faith in God.

When I think about the men in this story of the paralyzed man I get tears in my eyes.  Oh… to have such caring and faithful friends is a treasure. These men got together to help a sick friend.  There were not going to stop until they got him the help he needed.

A person will find out the character of their friends if they become sick.  Are your friends true friends, acquaintances or just people who are in your space?  Space occupying people can sometimes be very toxic to your soul (the inner you).

These friends of this paralytic man were men of compassion, kindness and great faith.  They heard about Jesus and His ability to heal the sick and they had a lot of faith to make a traveling bed for their sick friend…carried Him to where Jesus was (who knows how far they had to travel)…fight through a large crowd…get a ladder…carry him up to the roof top….dig through the hardened mud and thatch to make a hole….get rope/vines to lower the man and believe that Jesus would heal their friend.  Now those are friends!!!  Praise God!

I have a friend who recently did this for me.  No she did not cut a hole in a roof of a house…even if she could it would take 20 weight lifters to carry me up a ladder LOL!  My special friend paid for me to see a specialist who might be able to help me (and he did thank God).  She paid the whole cost for me to go out-of-state and the cost of the doctor as my insurance didn’t cover an out of network doctor.  Now that is a cutting through the roof kind of friend.

Being a Christian and living with a chronic illness has been especially difficult because as Christians we believe in healing and many people’s thoughts about you when you’re sick for so long is that there must be a problem in your life.  These types of thoughts and comments from others have been for me at times just as hurtful as the condition I suffer with.  After all these years of dealing with this…I’ve learned that I must keep my eyes on the Lord, forgive people right away when they say such things and I pray for myself that God will strengthen me and help me stay positive.  My hope is in Jesus Christ for grace, mercy and healing so I trust Him and that’s it.  When people say that stuff to me it doesn’t bother me because I know they are in a certain mindset and they don’t know how to gently and compassionately minister to someone who is sick.

These are the kind of things I’ve had said to me by friends:

  1. Well you look good.
  2. You need to take some vitamins
  3. I think you’re just stressed
  4. Go shopping… take a walk.
  5. You need to lose some weight.
  6. It’s all in your head.
  7. Things could be worse.

These are things that have been said to me by some Church friends and even people I didn’t really know:

  1. You don’t have enough faith!
  2. You haven’t prayed right or enough.
  3.  You must have some sin in your life.
  4. You have a generational curse.
  5. You’re not having an abundant life.
  6. You don’t know the word.
  7. You spoke this illness on yourself.
  8. You need to come to this healing service.
  9. You need to listen to my healing scripture CD.
  10. You need to press your way out to church.
  11. Demons are making you sick and causing your pain, rebuke them.

These are only a few of the things that have been said to me over the past 20 years and I tell you not one of these things said has ever helped me or made me feel better in fact it has been hurtful.  It  Feels to me like…..um…..spiritual bullying.  And I say this because of what it feels like after they make these remarks.

There are two very simple things that others can do when confronting a person who is sick and it’s this:  Be encouraging and pray for them!!!    Also it would be nice if you do any of these this things, give a cards, flowers, a checkup phone call, a homemade meal, take them out for some fresh air or doctor’s appointments… anything kind sweet and caring.  All the other comments and things are not needed at all.  God is full of mercy and grace and is helping that person so all they need is…..your encouragement and prayers.

If the person is not a Christian then be a careful, loving and gentle witness to them.  Invite them to church, leave them a tract and see if there is something you can do to help them.  Be wise, discerning and sensitive about their situation.

 

We who are chronically ill are very sensitive because we are usually in pain, on a lot medication and have been through a lot.  One day a close friend of mine came over my house and I was going through a lot of pain and discomfort and she sat with me and I cried in her arms.  She just held me and prayed for me.  I didn’t want her to wash dishes or anything….I just needed a friend and comfort at that moment and it helped me so much.  I have never forgotten her act of compassion.

So you can see why the story of the paralyzed man really touches me.  All his friends needed to do was to have compassion on Him and Jesus healed him.  Be encouraging and pray is all that is truly needed.

Message for today: I feel some people (Not everyone…just some) would have more compassion for a wounded animal than a chronically ill Christian….I know…I’ve been through this…”Woof! Woof!”

Mathew 25:35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

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