Have you ever asked God for something and found the answer to be, “no” or “not now”? I am not a trained Bible scholar, however I am a reader of the Word and as God uses Scripture to sanctify, there is a portion in Mark 2 that specifically speaks to my life and perspective repeatedly. It’s the story of the paralytic who gets lowered through a roof by his friends in the hope of finding healing.
I read this story from two angles – as if I were the friends and as if I were the paralytic. You can read this portion of Scripture here in it’s entirety, but here’s what happens. Four men bring a paralytic to Jesus presumably for healing but the crowd is so big they can’t get the man to Him. Instead they remove part of the roof above where Jesus is and lower the man down on his mat. Jesus tells the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
If I were the man or the friends I would be thinking…my sins are forgiven? See.. I actually came here to be healed physically. I’d like to walk again. If I were the friends I’d be thinking, I carried this man all the way here, up a roof, and lowered him down… we aren’t leaving without a healing! Because of the scribes sitting in the crowd questioning Jesus’ authority to forgive sins, Jesus does the seemingly easier alternative and tells the paralytic to get up and walk, claiming His authority over physical AND spiritual healings.
Sometimes in my own life I ask God for certain things to happen or to gain certain desires and when the answer is no or not now I’m reminded that even though my physical desires aren’t granted, I’ve been given spiritual healing that surpasses any other gift. I’ve been learning a lot about Jesus being enough. Period.
(And that God’s timing in physical desires is sovereign anyways.)
God does delight in giving His children good gifts though and often through His ministry Jesus coupled physical miracles with spiritual truth. This is something that CPR-3 greatly strives to model as we care for people’s needs both physically and spiritually. You can see examples of this through our emphasis in areas like Moringa, Water, the #STOPdoingWRONG campaign and throughout our church partnerships as North American churches resource Haitian churches to physically aid and spiritually equip.
You can see it here in the story of the paralytic as well. The scribes didn’t believe that Jesus could forgive sins. Jesus said, “But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins, I tell you, get up, pick up your mat, and go home.”
As a result the crowd was “astounded and gave glory to God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this!'” It is our desire to fall in line with this example and as Haitians are invested in through nutrition, clean water, justice, and partnership, they will embrace the spiritual truth coupled with these physical gifts and say, glory to God, we’ve never seen anything like this. However, when hardships come for them and for us, we will also say, Jesus is enough.