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Let Me in Through the Roof
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While turning the pages of my Holy Bible, I came upon the reading in Saint John's gospel of the paralyzed man. This is a beautiful story and has much to teach all of us. The part of the story that struck me deep into the heart, was the part where the four men brought a paralyzed man to Jesus.
These four men carried this stretcher with this lame man lying on it. The Bible story does not say how far these men traveled, it could have been within the town or quite some distance. This paralyzed man was much too weak or too lame to make his way to Jesus on his own. These four men had to assist him the paralyzed man to the place where Jesus was preaching to the masses and healing them. There were many people surrounding Jesus while He was speaking and healing in the house. The people surrounding the place must have been alike to a rock concert - jammed pack inside and standing room only outside - there to hear Jesus speak.
These four men now had to figure out how to make it past this crowd and then had to climb up onto the roof with the stretcher that their friend lay upon as entry through the doorway was impassable. Once they made it onto the roof, they had to rip the roof apart and safely lower him down into the house because of the great amount of people there to see Jesus. I could not help but think to myself: Those guys that carried their friend to Jesus — those guys were real friends.
I then asked myself: How many of my friends would do the same for me?
Think to yourself: How many of my friends would do the same for me?
In the book of Saint John 15:13, St. John relates to how powerful the gift of friendship is. Jesus, the man who came and walked among us, called the men whom He walked with His friends. He told us that there was no “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.” Jesus, of course was speaking about Himself, for He was preparing to let Himself be betrayed, captured and put to death for our sins.
What a friend, a man who came, He saw and conquered the only hold that Satan had over us: death.
How many of us when we are at work, or at the store, or at someone’s house do we tell our co-workers or friends about our faith or our Savior? It may be those men and women who need to be carried to the Savior, just like the paralytic. Those men and women who need the power of prayer in their lives. Those who need their faith renewed in Christ. Those that need to know they have a friend out there that cares about their soul. We all need a recharge, when this world and the negative influences (as seen daily in newspapers, on news programs, on the radio) affect our sense of right and wrong and desensitize us to love, faith and hope for a better tomorrow.
In our lives, we travel along a path that brings many people into our sphere of influence. And, for myself, I can only count my closest friends on one hand. Those men and women that I can call on and hold me up to a higher standard, that will hold me to accountable for my actions. It is those individuals that I truly see as a blessing. We are called to be like Christ to the world - could we lay down our lives for anyone, especially when the person we may be called to lay down our lives for has sinned against us?
God blesses us daily. He gives us everything we need when we are in need of it. Those blessings sometimes are open and blatant enough for us to say that He blessed us, but it is those unseen blessings that is hard to thank Him for. Things that are often taken for granted, how many of them have been prayers of others for your personal benefit that God has seen to grant. Those hard prayers that parents pray for their children - for their success - for their well-being - for the good that comes into their lives, these personal prayers that are offered privately for your well-being which God grants you and it doesn't sink in as a blessing. None of us know how many people are praying for us. Prayer changes everything - try it. Try praying for the well-being of another, pray for that friend who could use that bit of comfort. Just as much as you need true friends in your life, those friends also need you to be a true friend too.
Are you like the friends of the paralytic? Do you have the faith of those men? Do you have the strength to make your way through the crowd?... the faith to bring this man to Jesus because of what was said about the miracles He performed on others? Friendship is a blessing. Can you be a 'good' friend to them?
Even the “friends” that have betrayed me and have used me are a blessing to me. The betrayals have made my other friendships so much stronger and genuine. Through my friendships, I have seen the parables come to life and become a reality. How many times through our lives have we seen the parable of the seeds (where the seeds are planted in the rocks and the sand and the good soil) and we have found our friends among them all? The Scriptures are alive today and relevant in our lives, all we need do is look and listen.
Hopefully, we all have someone we can call 'friend'. Count yourself blessed if you are fortunate enough to find a spouse that is not only a wife or husband, but also someone you can call 'friend'.
And, always remember that Jesus is a friend of sinners, and through our pain and failures do we come to a better understanding of His grace and love.
I hope and pray, that if I ever needed to be carried and lowered through the roof that my friends would be there to help me. If you can’t run…walk. If you can’t walk…crawl. If you can’t crawl…then find someone who will carry you.
The Crimson Knight
I have ruined many under the hooves of my horse, and their screams,oh their terrible screams constantly fill my head. Am I any different than the evil that destroyed my world? The evil that I kill? I have become a man that even I do not know. Sabastian wants to be free. He is looking for forgiveness, peace, and somewhere to call his home. But he is at war with an unrelenting enemy: The world. After seeing his family and community brutalized by invading forces, Sabastian is kidnapped and taken to a foreign land where he is trained to be a warrior. Deep in his heart there burns a poisonous hatred and desire for revenge against the people who killed his family. He tries to serve The Knight who is the Light but seems to constantly fail and succumb to the violence of his new identity. But faith may find him when he least expects it, and salvation may be the only thing left worth fighting for. Will Sabastian overcome his pride and anger to follow the Knight who is the Light? Will he summon the strength necessary to defeat the Dragon King and restore peace to himself and his loved ones? Join author Demetrious Glimidakis for a thrilling tale of war, love, sin, and redemption in The Crimson Knight.