by Heather Tietz
When they could not come near to him for the crowd, they removed the roof where he was. When they had broken it up, they let down the mat that the paralytic was lying on.
Can you picture it? Several strong-armed men pulling up dried branches, digging through packed clay, cutting at rough logs. With perspiration, they steadily lower their friend through the hole. The mat dangles. No one dares push it away. The bodies beneath part. The eager men lean over the hole to watch. Their efforts are not in vain. There is Jesus!
The effort is always impressive. In a culture where accomplishments seem often microwaved, anyone putting out extra hours, extra money, extra care, turns heads.
Meals from scratch, handwritten cards, homemade gifts, they impress us. They impressed Jesus too.
Remember that He was drawn to Zaccheus who took the trouble to climb a tree to see Him. He was impressed by the bleeding woman who sought Him out and strategized how to absorb His healing power. There was Noah whose boat was no weekend father-son project. Then there were Daniel and his friends who gave up a night of sleep to beg God to reveal Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Animals took great effort to sacrifice. Altars took muscles to build.
Where is your effort put? Is there any sweat, any sacrifice in your relationship with God. Do you stretch to be close to Him? Is there fasting or tithing, verse memorizing, prayer lifting, early waking, prayer bookkeeping or some loving pain that you make in His name? It isn’t working your way to Heaven, it’s simply living your faith. God likes that.