Scripture: Luke 5:12-26
Key verses: (18-19) 18Just then some men came, carrying a paralyzed man on a bed. They were trying to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; 19but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus.
Reflection: It is always the loyalty and selflessness of the paralytic’s four friends that catches my eye in this scripture. They want a cure for their friend and a crowd blocking the door to Jesus is not about to stop them. They overcome obstacles and the end result? The paralytic, their friend, becomes cured.
We all have friends who have scooped us up in our helplessness and carried us to the feet of Jesus.
I am reminded of the friends who have held me accountable for Sabbath even when I was afraid to stop, paralyzed by fear of something unknown. They would do whatever was necessary to help me find a Sabbath moment, a break in the day, or the opportunity to ask about my fear, before lowering me down to Jesus.
I’m reminded of the friends who ask me what I need and respond. They allow me to lie on my mat and whine in my confusion and frustration. They ask what they can do and they know that the only solution is to go to Jesus together.
There were also times when we found ourselves on our mats before the Lord without even knowing how we got there. Even at those times, there were friends who tore holes in roofs, pushed through crowds, and carefully laid us at Jesus feet without us even realizing they were present.
Faithful friends ask the hard questions and they know the path to Jesus. Who are the people who notice when you need to be carried? Do you have friends who know how to get you to Jesus? Look around today and see where you can cultivate a friendship.
Prayer: Full Serenity Prayer: (by Reinhold Niebuhr)
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that God will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with God
Forever and ever in the next.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].