Thursday, May 24, 2012

Child of God: Move that Bed!

I enjoy watching Extreme Makeover Home Edition. If you haven't seen it, let me give you a brief synopsis. A family is chosen for a complete home renovation. Normally the family has experienced some sort of difficulty that has left them in great distress- hurricanes, sickness, loss of a job, death of one of the members of the family, etc. The stories are powerful and emotional and I admit they often leave me with watery eyes (although I would blame it on allergies when my wife would ask me if I was crying).

The crew shows up, sends the family on vacation, demolishes the old house and builds a new home for the family- in 7 days! Once the project is compete they bring the family home from vacation and place them behind a huge bus. At just the right time the family and the crowd yell, "Bus driver, move that bus!" The bus slowly pulls away revealing the stunningly beautiful home. The music plays, the crowd cheers and the family breaks down in tears (that's when I "struggle with my allergies"). Sometimes the family falls down in the street: other times they stand in stunned disbelief. But all of them go from distressed to overjoyed in one moment. Their lives will never be the same.

Imagine a slightly different scenario for a moment. Imagine the beautiful home on the other side of the bus, but the bus never moves. The family in distress never sees the house and they continue in their life of struggle even though there's a better life on the other side of the bus.

This describes the reality of people all around us. Their marriage is in distress, they've lost a loved one, they've lost a job, they're struggling with raising their children, or they've lost hope. They need a break and a break through. Jesus had an encounter with such a man in Mark 2. When Jesus first met him he was "sick of the palsy," a condition that left him paralyzed, disctressed and hurting (Mark 2:3). Jesus came into Capernaum and was in a house, teaching.

Word got out that Jesus was in town. Just on the other side of town was a man who could heal him, but the paralyzed man couldn't get there. So his friends came over, picked up his bed and carried him to the house where Jesus was. I don't know how far they went. I don't know if it was 10 blocks or 10 miles. I don't know if they had to put the bed down and rest on the journey. What we know is this: their friend was hurting, they could do something about it, so they did and they weren't going to let any obstacles get in the way.

Their friend couldn't walk, so they carried him. The house was too crowded to get in, so they went around. The roof was in the way so they went through. What matters in the end is they got their friend to Jesus. When they did, they heard God heal their friend- "Son, thy sins be forgiven thee" (Mark 2:5). God healed him spiritually...then he healed him physically- "I say unto thee, 'Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house'" (Mark 2:11).

So he did. "Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, 'We never saw it on this fashion'" (Mark 2:12). In the end, when the bed was moved, the whole crowd was amazed. The music played. The crowd cheered. The tears flowed. They glorified God and said, "I've never seen anything like it."

This story would not have happened if the formerly-paralyzed man's friends didn't care enough to bring him to Jesus. It wouldn't have happened if they let all of the obstacles stop them. Look around you for people who are paralyzed with fear, hurt, despair or disappointment and "move that bed!" Bring them to Jesus.

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