You Won’t Believe What I Found on the Roof

There’s so much I don’t know.
Even more that I can’t control.
A lot of days, I gasp across the entrance to home
my head throbbing
my thoughts spinning, swirling over other people’s problems
hoping for a momentary reprieve
before I face my own.
The troubles of this world are so powerful some days
and I’m not a stupid person
and I’m not afraid of hard work
and I am full of God’s love and His Spirit and His Word
but the troubles seem relentless
and people get so beaten down
and Satan has never been a student of mercy.
So lately, I’ve come home depleted,
feeling defeated
spent
overdrawn.
And every time I talk with God about it,
He brings to mind the four friends of the paralytic.
You know the story, right?
Jesus was teaching in a house crowded with people,
so crowded that four friends had to dig a hole in the roof of the house
to lower their paralyzed friend down to Jesus.
Jesus said that because of their faith,
the man’s sins were forgiven
and he was healed.
The unbelieving Pharisees got bent out of shape over the random granting of forgiveness
– you know, since they had a whole economy built around selling animals
that needed to be sacrificed for forgiveness –
it wasn’t something people could just access simply by dropping through a hole in the roof
They tried to dampen the healing party
but Jesus just kept right on forgiving and healing in front of them
while the paralyzed man
became the man-who-was-formerly-paralyzed
and his friends rejoiced.
And every time God has brought this story to my mind the past week or so,
I respond like a kid in middle school –
“boring.” I yawn.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I remember the story. It’s nice
but what has that got to do with the very real problem I’m trying to discuss with you?
But, that’s because I’m sort of stupid sometimes.
Tonight,
when God brought the four friends to mind for the eighth or ninth time,
I humored Him.
Fine. Fine. I’ll read the story.
I’ll think about it.
 I’ll try to imagine real people not some Sunday school clip art version of this dramatic, public healing.
So I did.
And I waited for some startling new answer to the very complicated ones facing me and so many people I love.
It annoyed me that we don’t know anything really, about these four friends.
It just seemed like a very straightforward story about four friends doing everything they could to get their friend to Jesus.
That’s all we know about them. That they got their friend to Jesus.
Oh.
I get it.
These four friends didn’t need to know how to treat their friend medically
or how to support him mentally
or how to counsel him spiritually
All they needed to know to do
was to get him to Jesus.
That’s a very helpful thought these day because –
I can do that.
I can get the people I love to Jesus.
I can kneel before His throne and speak their name and tell Him how much they need Him.
He’s way smarter than I am
so He doesn’t need me to suggest solutions
or ask for exactly the right thing
or figure out the source of their problem
or whether they deserve to be rescued.
I just need to get them to Jesus
and He’ll take it from there.
If this seems a little simplistic to you
ask yourself who you’d rather be
one of the know-it-all, self-righteous Pharisees clucking their tongues standing in the crowd
or one of the friends watching from the roof
as Jesus transforms their faith
into something that changes the life of their friend.
I know my answer. What’s yours?

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2 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Cyn Rogalski says:

    Encouragement. That’s what I get from you, Lori.
    And please know, I’ll be one of the ones lifting you & Rob, bringing you to Jesus, when you can’t. Thanks for another great post.

  2. Judith Robl says:

    One day, I was praying for my husband, telling God all the things He needed to do for him and how He needed to change him. And the Lord brought me up short and gave me instructions.

    “Just lift him to Me and praise Me that I am Sovereign in all things. That’s all.”

    So I’m to lift him to the Lord and praise the Lord for His Sovereignty, and then shut up. He didn’t say it quite so bluntly, but there it is. That last part is tricky, but I’m getting better at it.

    Thank you for this great post.