Determination, persistence, and grit are all admirable qualities. The ability to push through tough circumstances with a refusal to give up is something we all should aspire to.
Pastor David Werner
Challenges arise often. Sometimes we are blindsided by an unexpected diagnosis, an unforeseen obstacle, or an unplanned problem that we must face. When faced with such trails it is easy to become discouraged or overwhelmed. But the Bible offers much encouragement in times of trial and calls us to, “press on”, “overcome”, and “keep the faith”.
One such story in the Gospel of Mark is a shining example. In Mark 2:1-5 we read the prologue to the miracle of Jesus healing a paralytic man. While this account demonstrates Jesus’ authority to forgive sins and power to heal, there is much to be said about the four men who carried their friend to Jesus.
When these four heard that Jesus was in town, they thought first of their paralyzed friend. Instead of leaving him home, they were determined to bring him to Jesus. When they arrived at the house where Jesus was teaching, they found their way blocked by a large crowd. It would have been easy for them to become discouraged at the impossibility of getting their friend to the feet of Jesus. But they were not deterred.
Instead of complaining or giving up, these four were determined to see their friend healed. They blazed their own path. Going up to the roof, they dug a hole through the thatch and pitch. The crowd that had blocked their way before looked in amazement as these four determined souls lowered their friend down through the hole to rest at the feet of Jesus.
The account of these four ends in verse five by simply saying, “And Jesus saw their faith”. Despite the hassle and struggle, it must have been to drag their friend on his mat, deconstruct the roofing, and lower their bedridden buddy down to Jesus, they knew it would be worth it. Their faith in the healing power of Jesus overshadowed the obstacles in their way. And their faith was recognized by Jesus.
What Jesus offered to the paralyzed man He still offers today: forgiveness and healing. Will we adopt and embody the faith of the four? Despite obstacles and challenges will we bring everything we have to the feet of Jesus and let nothing stand in our way?