Thursday, January 06, 2005

Going the Extra Mile

If you read the Gospels - the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – you might notice that very often people don’t come to Jesus by their own initiative. Unlike the woman who touched the hem of his robe or the blind man who called loudly from the side of the road, many are helped by the actions of their families or friends.

One striking account in Mark 2 tells of four friends who brought a paralyzed man to a home where Jesus was teaching. Unfortunately, the place was jammed to overflowing, and they couldn’t get near him. They went to great lengths as they carried this needy friend on a mat, hauled him to the rooftop, created a hole in the roof and lowered him down. The fifth chapter of Luke adds that they set him down “into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.”

They didn’t let embarrassment or obstacles or a busy social calendar stop them from delivering their friend to the One who could heal him. Sometimes when I am praying, I mentally place my friends or family members on a metaphorical mat and bring them to the feet of Jesus, asking for His touch in their lives.

Perhaps you remember reading the Amber Brown series of books in elementary school. We’re reading them with our youngest daughter. And though we chuckle at Amber’s antics, I find myself fighting tears as she confronts the breakup of her parents’ marriage, rides an emotional rollercoaster, and deals with their new dating relationships. To me, young people are often paralyzed by divorce. Much, if not all, of what is happening is out of their control. Experts say it can take years, even a lifetime, for some to overcome this kind of trauma.

Can you think of a classmate or someone in your life who has been wounded by divorce? Maybe it’s you. Would you take a minute right now in your mind and heart to go before Jesus and ask for His healing and His help for your sibling, your friend, yourself or whomever comes to mind?

“If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.” I John 4:15,16