When you read the Bible, it's hard to miss the supernatural events that occur in the lives of ordinary people who are willing to exercise their faith. Miracles happen, God shows up, and faith is right there in the middle of it. It happens over and over again. It's one of the Bible's recurring themes. And it's worth paying attention to, not only because of what it reveals to us about God, but because it has the potential to change our lives and the lives of those we love and care about.
As we read the stories that are given to us in Scripture, we can rightly conclude that God has a long history of responding favorably, even miraculously, to faith.
To illustrate that point, let's turn our attention to a story told in the second chapter of Mark's Gospel. It's the account of Jesus forgiving and healing a man who was physically disabled. The Bible describes him as “a paralyzed man.” This is someone who was unable to walk. We never get the guy's name. Neither Matthew, Mark, or Luke give us any backstory. All we know is that this man spends his days and nights trapped on a mat, because his body's broken. His mobility's been completely compromised. He's stuck.
And though he's powerless to move, he's not totally helpless. Why? Because the paralytic has a group of friends who are willing to do whatever it takes to get him an audience with Jesus. And it's that effort, that persistence, that not-taking-no-for-an-answer-no-matter-how-many-obstacles-are-in-the-way that Jesus responds to.
Mark describes it as faith, and when Jesus saw it, he acted on the paralytic's behalf, first by forgiving him, then by healing him.
No matter the outcome, no matter the obstacles, faith compels us to act, to believe that with God anything's possible. It may drive us to do things that other people would consider outrageous, like digging a hole through someone's roof. But let's be honest: we may need that kind of courage and determination if we actually want God to change the course of someone's life.
Who do you know that's stuck? Who do you know that needs an audience with Jesus? Maybe it's not physical paralysis they're dealing with, but emotional or spiritual. Perhaps God has put that person in your life so that you can bring her to the One who has the power to heal, forgive, redeem, restore, and liberate.
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