Press In!

“Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on.” Mark 2:4

This story, found in Mark chapter 2, is really an incredible one. Here’s the picture… Jesus is preaching to a packed house, literally, so much so that people were standing outside and no one else could get in. Four men brought their paralyzed friend to the house so that Jesus would heal him but they couldn’t get to Him. They climbed up on the roof and started digging into the roof and opened a hole. Imagine! Jesus is preaching and all of a sudden dirt begins to fall on His head as well as everyone around. It doesn’t say that Jesus said anything until the man was laying in front of Him. He saw their faith, forgave the man’s sins, and then healed Him. The man simply got up, took his mat, and walked out… no big deal!

As I was reading this story again this week, there are so many directions I could have gone but the imprint it made on me was that these were desperate people and they resorted to desperate measures. To say the least, they pressed in to see Jesus and would not be deterred. They destroyed somebody’s roof in order to get to Jesus! This took some work and they were willing to face the possible repercussions of their handiwork.

Life has its ups and downs. But, sometimes we just need to see Jesus, for whatever reason. Maybe we haven’t been in the presence of God much or maybe we have a desperate need. Recorded throughout the gospels, it was those who seemed most desperate and pressed in to Jesus that He touched. In almost every situation, He mentioned their faith. In this situation, it was “their” faith, not just the one that was healed. Faith is not a mystic thing. Faith is not always getting what we want. Faith is not believing that God is able to do something for us. Faith is trusting God that He has the best planned for us regardless whether we understand it or not (Heb. 11:40).

Over the last few weeks, I have felt a tug from God to press in. It’s not that I have an extra special need or that this is a challenging time. On the contrary, sometimes we can be satisfied where we are. God wants us to be desperate. The Bible talks about the value of being content and it is good to be content but there is a difference with contentment and satisfaction. Contentment is part of who you are, satisfaction is a temporary state of being full. Contentment grows, satisfaction exists.

I want to be like those four friends who didn’t care what others thought, how difficult the task may be, how long it would take, or fear of rejection. I desperately need Jesus and want to routinely press in to His presence in the good times and the bad!

James Tissot [No restrictions or Public domain], via  Wikimedia Commons

James Tissot [No restrictions or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons