You are not always able to be strong. Sometimes you are weak, and during these occasions, you require friends. Proverbs 17:17 says, "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." Brothers and an occasion of adversity are precisely what we find in the Gospel of Luke when a paralyzed man was carried before Jesus by his friends. Occasionally, we can become paralyzed emotionally, unable to muster the strength needed to face challenges or overcome by feelings of apathy. This "emotional paralysis" can happen because of recent trauma or the accumulation of taxing life events. Either way, there comes a time when we discover we can not handle life's emotional burdens alone - not that we were ever meant to - and discover the need to be carried to Jesus by those who love us.
In Luke 5, we read,
“Some men took a man who was not able to move his body to Jesus. He was carried on a bed. They looked for a way to take the man into the house where Jesus was. But they could not find a way to take him in because of so many people. They made a hole in the roof over where Jesus stood. Then they let the bed with the sick man on it down before Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the man, "Friend, your sins are forgiven."
There is no reason to feel shame when you become overwhelmed. Read that again, please. It makes no sense for the paralyzed man in the above Scripture to be embarrassed by his circumstance. It is. I want to reinforce the idea that you and I were designed to need help. We are human beings created to require the support of a community. It just is. There is a bit of pride in the idea that, when we need it, we can get ourselves in front of Jesus. Yet, in the same way that we need the Son to have intimacy with the Father, we require community to walk faithfully with Jesus. Our walk with Jesus requires the loving support of other believers to lift us in prayer when difficulties overwhelm us. When we are paralyzed in bed, we need a few friends willing to make a hole in the roof and lower us before Jesus.
We reject visibility to avoid accountability. This is wrong.
I want to make an adjacent point that I believe is necessary here. God's design for the church community requires our obedience. Therefore, our intentional pursuit of community is necessary, and we must be willing to let others love us. So often, we lay paralyzed, so to speak, unwilling to allow anyone close enough to see our need for help. We reject visibility to avoid accountability. This is wrong. Deep, meaningful relationships are valuable and require transparency and intentional effort. I want to encourage you to nurture relationship with a few people you can learn to trust during times of vulnerability. One day you will need to be carried before Jesus.
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