Fear paralyzes. Doubt debilitates. Jealousy incapacitates. Apathy petrifies. Disappointment disables.
I seem to face these destructive emotions every day. And when they win, I am paralyzed.
How can I respond? How can I stare the giants of Fear and Doubt in the eye and move forward into the work God has called me to?
In Mark 2 there is a man so desperate to be healed from his overcoming paralysis that his friends found creative access to Jesus. Crowds too thick? Well, lets just go in through the roof. Imagine the scene as the paralytic was lowered into the room through the roof, to land right at the feet of Jesus.
And Jesus healed him. (Mark 2:11) (Well, first He forgave him, which really freaked out the religious uppity-ups.)
But this healing..... The healing comes in the form of a command. It is the specificity in this three-fold command that shines like a neon sign. It is direct, it is action oriented, and it must be obeyed. And it is the answer to the healing I require from my fear, doubt, or any other emotion that paralyzes me.
This command is the same word a good Jewish mother would use to call to her child who overslept.
Get up. Arise. Awake. Build.
Whatever is incapacitating me is going to have to be ignored. I have an option to get myself up or stay on my pallet. What will I choose?
"Shut up, voices of doubt. Go away, feelings of jealousy. Let go, grip of fear. My Lord is calling me to rise up. If I am going to obey, I really don't have time for you any more."
Pick Up Your Pallet
My bed (a modern-day pallet, if you will) is the perfect analogy to what holds me back.
It feels comfortable and warm. From my bed I can momentarily ignore the needs of the day. I can pull the covers over my head and ignore whatever frightens or bothers me.
At least for a little bit. But the longer I stay in bed, the less time I have to do what God calls me to do.
Jesus says, "Pick it up." Whatever "it" (my "pallet") is, I need to control it instead of it controlling me.
When Jesus heals me, I am no longer paralyzed. I am no longer incapable of action. I need to get up and get going. Jesus has work for me to do and I may no longer lay around on my pallet, letting fear win.
"Go away jealousy and disappointment. You are in the wayand too cumbersome to carry. I am picking up my pallet, but I am leaving you behind so I can keep up with my Lord."
There are people to whom my God wants me to be His hands and feet.
They are my HOME: my family; my church; my neighborhood; my co-workers; my city; my country; my world.
If I am stuck on my pallet, I cannot serve, minister, or love on these people.
In fact, when I am stuck on my pallet, I have trouble even thinking about them because I am too busy being stuck on myself and my own problems.
Jesus heals me so I can "go home" and get busy about His business. He doesn't heal me so I can take it easy. He heals me so I can get busy!
"Get out of my way all of you lies that want to paralyze me! I am going home!"
The paralytic IMMEDIATELY (I love that!) got up, picked up his pallet, and went home.
And the result: people were amazed and were glorifying God.
If I am living my life in obedience to God, He gets the glory. And that makes all the difference.
In our social media infused world, where I can inform my friends of every adventure and achievement in 30 seconds, I must ask- is it for my glory or for God's? [tweetthis]In our social media infused world, where I inform of every adventure, is it for my glory or God's?[/tweetthis]
Do you feel paralyzed today? Then go to Jesus. Do whatever it takes, but go to Jesus.
And then obey what He tells you.
- Pick up your pallet
- And go home!