Summary: God is here to bring healing through relationships with God and each other.

Retell the story of the man who was paralyzed.

I wonder: What conversation did they have that day? Did they get up that morning planning to see this Jesus they’d heard about? Was it a spontaneous action? Had he and his friends tried other ways for him to be healed that had failed? Had his friends or family members been his support for a long time? Did they really believe Jesus could help help or was this yet another desperate attempt? They seem to have great determination. It records that Jesus saw their faith. Were some of them hesitant to lower the man through the roof? How did they feel? Hopeful? Desperate? Fearful? The bottom line is the man needed the Lord and he needed his friends to receive healing in his life.

We need friends. We rely on friends like the man who was paralyzed relied on his friends.

We need to be willing to ask for help. We’re afraid too..we might seem wimpy. We might not receive the help we asked for. People should know our needs without us asking. As a single mother, I have learned I have to ask for help from time to time in caring for my daughter. That’s not something I like to do. I like to be very independent. However, especially in the ministry, unpredictable things happen, and I need a babysitter. Or I need help. Or I simply need time to do things that are relaxing to me.

We need to learn not to expect too much out of one person. When we ask for help, they may not be able to help us. No one person can meet all of our needs. A mistake that many people make in marriages is expecting their spouses to meet all or most of their emotional needs. I know it was a mistake that I made in my marriage. That is putting a burden on someone that cannot be met.

If we don’t have friends who are helping to meet our emotional needs, seek them out, pray for them, be willing to cultivate them. Be prepared to be a friend. Perhaps we’re afraid because we’ve been hurt before. Perhaps it seems like too much trouble.

C.S. Lewis penned these powerful words about love. "To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable."

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12 says: "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken."

We need the Lord. Just as the man who was paralyzed needed the Lord, we need the Lord. Where is it that we need the Lord to work in our lives? Where do we need healing in our lives? From wounds from relationships with parents? Children? Broken romances, some of which have been abusive? Job situation? Personal inner turmoil? Addictions?

Maybe we’ve drifted away from God or perhaps have never had a close relationship with God. We can rely on the time-tested spiritual disciplines that work: prayer, reading the scriptures, Christian groups that provide support (such as Sunday School), corporate and private worship, fasting, journalling.

Christian author John Claypool tells this story about his son when he was small. His son has been working on a gift to give to his father for several weeks at church. He had decided to make his father an ashtray, since his father smoked a pipe. The final day arrived when he was able to bring his present home to his father. He was very proud. His mother had picked him up and taken him home, to where his father was waiting. Proudly, he carried the wrapped gift in his little hands. With his excitement, he ran toward his dad. Then, suddenly, he fell. The sound of something breaking could be heard. The boy began to cry uncontrollably. His father tried to console him, "It’s O.K. It doesn’t matter." His mother then replied, "Yes, it does matter. He worked very hard on this for you. Here, I don’t think it’s too badly broken. Maybe we can put the pieces back together again." There are times in our lives when we’ve fallen and it hurts. We feel like our lives have been broken in a million pieces, but God says to us, "We can put the pieces back together again." God comes to us to bring healing in our lives...through our relationships with God and with one another.

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