We’re still on the health topic here, but tomorrow I’ve got a whole bunch of pictures to share of our non-medical adventures in Rochester! In the meantime, here’s my latest thoughts…
The other day I was reading that story in the Bible about the men who brought their lame friend to Jesus, but couldn’t get to Him because of the crowd of people surrounding Him. So they climbed up on the roof, made a hole in it, and lowered their friend down, right to Jesus.
It’s funny how you can read a passage in the Bible so many times, and yet something can still hit you right where you need it.
Here’s what got me this time: The Bible says that when Jesus “saw their faith”, he said to the man, “‘Friend, your sins are forgiven.'”
His first reaction to a lame man was not to heal him, but to forgive his sins.
Right, because that’s obviously the reason why his friends went into all the effort of hauling him up on the roof, and making a hole, and then lowering him down to Jesus? Because he was so desperate to have his sins forgiven? I always thought it was because he was so desperate to be healed…
But Jesus was more concerned about the state of the man’s heart. The Pharisees who were there got all worked up about Jesus saying that the man’s sins were forgiven, so Jesus said, “Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven, or to say, ‘Get up and walk?’ But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” and then he says to the man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
First he looked at the man’s spiritual condition, and then He looked at the man’s physical condition.
I am usually the opposite. When I pray, the things that are foremost on my mind are things like sickness or hard things that I’m facing on a day-to-day basis.
Or have you ever been to a prayer meeting where everyone shares requests and they’re all for someone’s sick grandma, or a friend who’s looking for a job, or something else that’s only pressing in this life?
That’s the stuff that’s very present, in front of us, here and now.
And yet when you think about everything from an eternal perspective, Jesus looks at heart stuff first.
He still cares about everything else. I completely believe that He hears every single word that I say to Him, and He cares about it all. But seeing as this life is not the main point, I guess it would make sense that He first forgave the lame man’s sins, and healed him later.
So here’s what I know to be true: When my focus is on Jesus, physical difficulties do not seem nearly as important. I think of the words in this song:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.
When I’m looking to Jesus, so much of what is busy in my mind ceases to matter. And the condition of my heart becomes a lot more important.
I wonder what it felt like to be that paralytic, lying on that mat in front of Jesus with his sins forgiven. Was he disappointed because that wasn’t what he’d had in mind? Was he disappointed to still be paralyzed, even with a clean heart? Or had everything grown strangely dim for him, too?
If I were in his place, would I be disappointed?
I would love to have the kind of body that would allow me to be carefree in the way that I approach life. But for what purpose? So that I can eat all the unhealthy food that I desire? So that I don’t need to take as much care of myself and be as conscious of the choices I make on a daily basis? So that I never experience any discomfort or inconvenience of any kind? So that I have a perfect body? So that I don’t need to fear sickness anymore? So that I will never die?
Umm… that sounds like heaven. I’m craving the life that I will live in heaven.
There are some people who appear to be living that kind of life right here, right now, on earth, but for how long? Everyone gets sick, everyone gets old. I don’t want to spend my time pursuing a dream that is not possible in this life. Making good choices and being a good steward of everything, my body, my time, my life, is a good thing.
But what I want to always remember is that my heart and soul matter the most.
And I’m thinking that I need to work on keeping my eyes turned to Jesus – there are some things in my life that need to grow dim!