Monday, January 28, 2013
Confined to Our Mat
“Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic…they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and…lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’ He said to the paralytic, ‘I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.’” Mark 2:3-5, 11.
When my sister Beth was nearing the end of her young life Heaven’s gates were continuously being stormed on her behalf. No longer able to get up and walk she laid there awaiting some type of healing. Much like the men climbing up on the roof carrying their paralytic friend, we lifted Beth up for God’s miracle of healing. People across the country stood with us as we ‘lowered her mat before Jesus.’ But just as in this story, Jesus was more concerned with Beth’s eternity than temporary earthly healing. It was time for her to receive His very best. We wanted a little more time with Beth on earth, but the One who created her and loved her most was ready to give her everything. When Jesus called, she got up, took her mat and went home.
Obviously, we were left with a hole in our heart for ourselves and also her little girl. It would have been easy to feel cheated and angry but that would have been to the detriment of God’s will. I knew that my prayers had to shift to healing my own heart or my emotions would become a barrier between me and God. I had to completely trust that God would carry everyone involved through the most difficult times and would turn it into glory for Him. I had to believe in the deepest part of my heart that God would provide the grace Beth’s little girl needed as she needed it – I had to trust God for all of His promises – not just the ones I agreed with.
Testimonies are not made up of bitterness and anger, but rather the story of how God sustains us through our heartbreak. Our words and actions will show if we have unresolved anger with one of God’s decisions. Our attitude and behavior will display our lack of trust in God’s ability to heal the hearts of those who must walk through suffering. Without surrendering our anger in any given situation, we become paralyzed in our emotions. We allow ourselves to be the one who becomes sick and confined to a mat. God wants more for each of us than spiritual paralysis. He wants complete healing in the spiritual realm and will arrange a way for us to ‘get up, take our mat and go home.’ If we lack peace in any given situation, we lack the freedom to soar which God intended for each of us.
‘Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom’ 2 Co. 3:17.
What must you lay down to pick up your mat?