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 2:3-4
We probably read that passages countless times before or heard it from some speakers who topic about faith and unity. That four men persistent effort is beyond ordinary that every servant of God must imitate. But as I look back and reflect, I wonder how long they carry the paralytic or if they are his relatives or friends? I wonder if they patch the roof they open? And most of all, I found myself asking these questions one dull rainy afternoon, what if I’m tired of being like the four men for many years? What if I am now the paralytic?
This reality hit me, even we are standing as one of the four men maybe in our family, at school or church, we are not exempted in paralysis. And when that day comes, do we have our own “four men” who will carry us, who will open the roof for us and bring us to Jesus? Or it is more appropriate to ask, are we willing that somebody will carry us, open the roof and bring us to Jesus?
There are two kinds of paralysis- physical and spiritual wherein the paralytic in the story pertains in physical paralysis. Speaking of spiritual paralysis, it is where both believers and non-believers confined in their stagnant bed life. We experience this illness when we are overwhelmed with problems, fear, guilt, pride and so on. This one is difficult to deal because it is not visible in our natural eyes. It cannot cure by taking medicines. It takes discernment and rebuking from other people before the person realize the symptoms and examine the damages.
Base on my personal observation nobody likes to admit they cannot because nobody likes to be a burden. That’s the reality, seeing those who face physical sickness, they don’t want other to take care of them. They don’t want to feel useless. Sometimes the same is true in spiritual. We don’t want anybody get involved in our struggles. We don’t want them to experience our misery and feel our pain. We just want to be alone.
But the paralytic in the story is different. Imagine if he refuses to go to Jesus by the men, is he able to rise up, take his mat and walk again? No. Instead the paralytic acknowledged his needs which is the very same thing that we need to learn. We must not be afraid to display our weakness. Because this is what Jesus does in Mark 14:33-34, He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” He said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”
Jesus a hundred percent man and God, voice out his weakness to his disciples. He doesn’t sugar coat his pain. That kind of openness of a leader is uncommon. If he does, why we cannot?
We have to take off our fear, guilt, shame and pride in order for others to bring us to God. Admit it or not we need somebody. The truth is we cannot carry ourselves in anywhere when we are paralyzed. The paralytic in the story is not capable to walk and run towards God. Have you see blind people straight in his path without stuff? We all need partner. We need each other.
I was in the middle of dilemma when my friend comforted me. That person always wears huge smile and radiant face. Sometimes I don’t want her to get near me because I feel like I’m a bomb. I’m afraid that when I explode, I might affect her. I don’t want to be a burden or to look like pitiful. That time when my pride knock, God gently reminds me the story when He healed the paralytic man and He softly spoke “It’s me that coming along, why do you refused?”
It was Him who is working to help us through other people, that most of the time we didn’t recognize. I know we have set of discouragement from others but we have lot of encouragement too. It just that sometimes we chose others opposition and rejected the words of affirmation.
We should be grateful that we are not alone in facing struggles. We should be thankful that we have families and friends that love us enough to voice out the truth and lead us to Jesus. That despite of having problems in their own, they are there to up lift us. They are few people in the world like them and we are blessed to have them.
I believe God is still in miracle business today and He uses people around us.