A Friend

praying

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.  When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:4-5 NIV)

There once was a man who couldn’t help himself. He couldn’t walk. He couldn’t work. A life sentence for a man like him was simply to ask. Day in and day out he would ask for enough to get by. He wasn’t going to get wealthy from his begging. He simply needed to provide enough for himself. I imagine he didn’t have a family but this man had friends. He had people who cared for him and wanted the best for him. They stopped at nothing to get him where he needed to go.

This story is a beautiful depiction of true friendship. This man could not get himself the help he needed but his friends could. They brought him and were met with crowds of people. There were too many people and no room to get in. So his friends tore the roof apart so they could lower their lame friend down. They didn’t give up, they found a way. You see, their friend would only be cured if he saw Jesus.

Sometimes, we are met with circumstances that are beyond us. They seem unfair, even wrong. We wonder if God has forgotten about us. We feel abandoned. And we find ourselves unable to pray. But God is always at work. He understands we are struggling. He knows our hurt. He recognizes that we are simply overwhelmed. That’s when He calls on someone to pray for us.

When God sees us unable to help ourselves, He brings in others to help. He calls in someone who will pray. When we can’t get to Jesus alone because the obstacles are too numerous, He provides a friend who will offer support. God brings in those who are willing to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. They lay us at the feet of Jesus because they know this is where we need to be.

Be encouraged today. God has not forgotten about you. He remains faithful, working out every single detail. And when you cannot pray, He will provide someone to do that for you too. He loves you and He knows what you need. When He calls upon you to pray for someone else, be honored. He is at work in the life of someone else and allows you to be a part of it.

Compassion

Jesus Heals the Blind and Lame on the Mountain

Jesus Heals the Blind and Lame on the Mountain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matt. 9:36 NIV)

My boy Jonah has a keen eye. We stood talking after field day while Jonah and his classmates ate their popsicles. He pointed out a boy having a tantrum over by the playground. He told me his name and told me whose class he belonged in. Then he went on to tell me, “He has the same problem I did last year. He feels like he has no friends.” I thought that was pretty perceptive for an eleven year old.

I’m always amazed at Jonah’s tender heart. He didn’t look at the boy and put down his behavior. He didn’t pass him off as a kid with no discipline. He had the discernment to look at his heart and see it was filled with hurt. And Jonah had compassion.

The definition for compassion according to dictionary.com is; a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering. Compassion is what drove Jesus to the cross. He loved us, saw our hopeless state and offered Himself as the only sacrifice that would save us. He saw our suffering and knew what He needed to do to alleviate it.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Col. 3:12 NIV)

Lord Jesus,

Thank you for choosing the cross. Thank you for looking upon my heart with sympathy. May I see others through that same lens of compassion.

Amen