After a few days, Jesus went back to Capernaum, and people heard that he was at home. So many gathered that there was no longer space, not even near the door. Jesus was speaking the word to them. Some people arrived, and four of them were bringing to him a man who was paralyzed. They couldn’t carry him through the crowd, so they tore off part of the roof above where Jesus was. When they had made an opening, they lowered the mat on which the paralyzed man was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven!” Mark 2: 1-5
I heard a story once about a man who was stranded on the roof of his house during a flood. As he stood on his roof praying for deliverance, a raft floated by. The family called out to the man to jump onto their raft. The man refused. He was waiting for God. Soon after, a police boat motored up close to the man. The officers called for him to jump down to them. The man refused. He was waiting for God. Finally, a rescue helicopter circled overhead. A ladder was lowered and the rescue workers called down to the man to climb up the ladder. The man refused. He was waiting for God. The rescue workers abandoned their attempt and the man soon drowned in the flood. As the man stood before the throne of God he asked, “Why didn’t you deliver me? Didn’t you hear me praying?” God replied, “What are you talking about? I sent you a raft, a boat and a helicopter! Why didn’t you get on one of those?”
There are several different directions you could go with this modern day parable. But for me, this is a parable about the dangers of inactivity. I’m not talking about physical exercise, although that’s important, too. I’m talking about that trap we Jesus People can fall into sometimes of using “waiting on the Lord” as an excuse not to live with purpose and meaning.
If we’re honest, most of us are looking for “something better” in our lives. That “something better” has nothing to do with material things, although many in our society attempt to find meaning through material objects. When Jesus promised his disciples an abundant life, he wasn’t talking about a big house, high-tech toys, vacation properties and a high yield stock option. He wasn’t talking about workplace productivity, data systems, career advancement or academic and athletic success. Jesus was talking to his disciples about himself as the Shepherd. The abundant full life referred to a life lived in him–a life following him. That’s our “something better”.
But how do we get there? In looking at the account of the paralytic man, it seems kind of obvious. We get to the something better by DOING SOMETHING! Take a few moments to flip through some of the Gospel stories of Jesus’ healing. There’s a common element running through each of them. The people who desired healing DID SOMETHING. They came to Jesus. They took the initiative to physically place themselves in his presence. In the case of the paralytic man, they literally raised the roof! They didn’t wait for Jesus to come to them. Rather, they went to Jesus.
Over the past few years, I have been yearning for “something better” in my professional life. I want to actively engage in women’s ministry. I want to write Bible curriculum. I want to teach at women’s events. I’ve prayed every which way I know how for God to do something to make that happen. But you know what? I’ve done NOTHING myself! I have been that man standing on the roof of a flooded out house waiting on God. When all the time God has been saying to me, “DO SOMETHING!” So here are my “DO SOMETHING” goals this summer:
1. Self-publish a small devotional book.
2. Create an advertisement to market myself (YUCK!) to conduct women’s spiritual growth events.
3. Become more engaged in women’s missions.
I don’t know that anything will come of it. I don’t know that I will be successful at all. But I know that I am ready for “something better”. I know that I am ready to fully engage all of the gifts and abilities God has given me to help build his Kingdom here on earth. I know that it’s time to DO SOMETHING.
So what about you? What roof are you standing on today? Are you looking to the skies for something better? Or are you tearing the roof apart to DO SOMETHING?
Blessings and Peace,