Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Heart, Soul and Mind

...when they could not get near him...
they removed the roof above him, and when
they had made an opening,
they let down the bedon which the paralytic lay.

Mark 2:4

It’s a story of friendship, commitment, determination, faith and hope–four committed friends armed with faith and determination making sure that the fifth of their group didn’t give up hope. How they came to the point of hauling their ailing friend to Jesus isn’t recorded because how they got there isn’t nearly as important as what they did when they arrived.

Undeterred by the swarm of people, they tore up a roof getting to Jesus. N.T. Wright says, that while the five friends represent good qualities that should be evident in a Jesus follower, there is another vantage point as well. Through this story we learn what it means to pray without restraints. Less resilient individuals would have turned around when faced with the obstacles these guys encountered. Instead they keep their eyes on the goal and pursue Jesus with all their heart, soul and mind.

Jesus admires their tenacity and the example they have set. Amidst the rubble of their work, they stand before the One who has the power to heal and receive more than they anticipated. Their friend, for whom they interceded, is healed inside and out.

This is what being a Jesus follower is all about–not allowing anything to stand in the way of pursuing being in the presence of Jesus. When we pray with a "tearing off the roof" attitude we are able to stand before Jesus without hindrances. And, when we find ourselves standing with Jesus the unexpected is bound to happen with his outstretched hand.

Jesus, being in Your presence
makes a difference in how I feel.
Forgive me when the stuff of my life
becomes an obstacle in pursuing You
with all my heart, soul and mind.

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