Read His Words Before Ours!
This is a story about a man named Rick.
Rick was born to a German immigrant daddy and a seventeen-year-old mama. Throughout his childhood, he captivated hearts with his white hair and darling glasses. His big brother was eleven months older and quite the trouble-maker. His sister directly below him, was a quiet spirit who didn’t speak until she was three. He had four other siblings besides those two, all younger than he. His dad was a painter by trade who had studied under incredible painters in Germany before coming to America. Because of his dad’s hard work, Rick and all four of his brothers, learned how to work with their hands. A few of them became great painters whose work can still be seen in famous hotels. One became an incredible chef. Several of them learned mechanics and would restore vintage cars. These five brothers found themselves in trouble throughout the years. There is no doubt the Emergency Room staff knew this family by name. Broken bones, allergic reactions, accidents, blood, and guts… you name it and Rick or one of his siblings had it. Near tragic incidents seemed to strike Rick’s family over and over again. But none became so tragic or visibly life-altering as the one when Rick was just 19.
While working on his vintage truck, Rick headed out to pick up some parts at the auto store, just six blocks away. In an instant he found himself sprawled out on the road. He’d been in accidents before, but this one was different.
For nine months, the hospital was his home, and when he finally left, he was permanently wheelchair bound.
He was paralyzed.
My Uncle Rick has been in a wheelchair my entire life. I grew up riding on its battery and helping him put a fork in his special device to eat. I grew up learning by listening to his instructions rather than watching his example. Many childhood memories revolve around my sweet uncle, who was a psychologist by the time I was born, and had his own practice with toys that I played with when I visited.
For as long as I can remember, I longed for a miracle for him.
In Sunday School, I learned about the miraculous wonders Jesus performed and I prayed, oh how hard I prayed, for a miracle for my uncle. My little heart couldn’t fathom the idea of never running or walking again. I could literally picture Uncle Rick getting out of his chair and walking.
I had so much faith!
And if my faith felt so great in my heart, imagine then how immense the faith was of these incredible friends in the Bible.
You see, these friends had heard that Jesus was coming to town.
He was a miracle-worker!
They’d heard the stories of blind men seeing, lame men walking, and incredibly ill people becoming instantly well.
These men longed for a miracle for their friend as much as I’ve longed for a miracle for my Uncle Rick.
They had seen their friend’s bed sores from laying one position too long, helped care for him, and dress him. They’d watched him struggle to accomplish simple daily tasks.
They wanted a miracle for him!
So, with an almost tangible excitement, they heaved and hoed and lifted their friend onto his mat, carrying him to the house where Jesus was.
Anticipation was high, but their faith was even higher.
They knew that Jesus could heal their friend.
They arrived at a house so full, that people were flooding out the doors and onto the street. Some were nearly crawling over others just to catch Jesus’s words.
These friends had to get their paralyzed friend to Jesus. So they did the only logical thing they could do… they climbed to the roof. (Ok, I’m not sure how logical it actually was… but hey! They got the job done!) Because once they reached the roof, and “logically” tore it apart, they lowered their friend down. Because that totally makes sense.
But I want to pause here for just a second.
I’m joking about these men using logic… but the truth is,
when our faith is so radical that we believe the impossible is 100% possible,
there isn’t really room for logic!
Jesus never operated out of logic and these friends weren’t either.
They were operating out of faith.
Unpause. *ahem* Play.
These men slowly lowered their friend through the roof, catching the attention of everyone in the house, and one very irritated homeowner. And there he landed, right before Jesus’s feet.
Jesus wasn’t surprised.
He knew these friends were coming.
He knew they wouldn’t be able to get in to see Him.
He knew they would need to display their faith in some crazy, unconventional way.
Jesus forgave this man for his sins, healing his heart, and then healing his body by commanding him to get up and walk. This paralyzed man, who’d been made whole, had the faith to actually stand up and walk.
This man’s healing, both spiritual and physical, was the result of outrageous, radical, faith that wasn’t defined by borders and edges of “realistic”.
Here’s the thing, there was something that my little mind didn’t understand when I was praying for a miracle for my uncle… I didn’t understand that the miracle had already happened.
It happened when he decided to give his life to Christ. Even further, it happened 2,000 years ago, when Jesus died on a cross, covering my sins, your sins, and the sins of my Uncle Rick. Because of an outrageous, radical act of love, and my uncle’s own act of outrageous, radical faith, He had received his great miracle. He was forgiven.
Sometimes, miracles happen in ways we would never expect. They happen when we step beyond our borders and into an incredible faith.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!