Thursday, January 26, 2017

Seeking the Lesser

Being sick stinks. It doesn't matter if you have a cold, the flu or a stomach bug, no one wants to be ill. Chronic illness is a difficult and unpleasant road, and I want off of it. There is rarely a day that goes by that I don't pray for God to heal me, to ease my pain, to make my body work right. I know that He is able. I started reading the book of Mark this morning, and although I have heard the story dozens of times, this morning it seemed to really touch my heart.

Mark 2:1-12 (ESV)

Jesus Heals a Paralytic

"And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. 3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. 5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” 12 And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”"

The paralytic man was brought to Jesus to be made well. Jesus tells him that his sins are forgiven. People hearing this, grumble, question, and accuse him of blasphemy. It was Jesus' response that really hit me this morning, and was a great reminder. Jesus asks "which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise, take up your bed and walk'? 

Jesus had already told the man his sins are forgiven, but it wasn't until Jesus healed him that "all were amazed and glorified God." May it not be that I would be a person who seeks a healing, a simple sign, or the "easier" of the two. Today I was reminded that for Jesus, healing me is the lesser, just frosting on the cake if you will. What I should be doing is thanking God for doing the greater in my life. My sins are forgiven!! I am amazed!! May I bring glory to God by telling you all, that it is God alone who forgives sin, and He provided that through His Son, Jesus Christ.

It may not be a sin to want to be well (although it certainly can easily become sin), but I urge you to seek the greater and not the lesser. May we quit seeking wellness, relief, an easy life, or a quick fix! Turn from your sin and seek the One who can do both the greater and lesser. Remember that forgiveness of sins is the greater work in your life; the greater gift and blessing. May my longing to be something I am not (in my case made well, it may be something different for you), be replaced with gratitude for what I am. Praise be to God-

Until next time-