A Blogpost from Lindsey Goodyear
Do you ever check out when you’re at church? Like, you’ve heard the story so many times and you know how it ends so you just go through the motions of nodding your head in agreement when in reality you’re thinking about what you need to grab at the grocery store after? Well, if you don’t, I commend you. I, on the other hand, do this often. I know it’s not ideal, but sometimes I feel like I know the story so well that I couldn’t possibly get anything else out of it. Right? Nope. I began my typical mind wandering last weekend at Messy Church. We were studying Luke 5:17. If you aren’t familiar, this passage tells the story of a paralyzed man whose friends carry him on a stretcher to a house where Jesus is so he can be healed. When they arrive, the house is so crowded that the only way they can get their friend in to see Jesus is by creating a hole in the roof and lowering him down inside. Jesus indeed heals the man and for the faith he has shown toward our Lord, Jesus informs him his sins are forgiven. The story is a good one and great setup to talk about trusting in the Lord to not only alleviate our pain, but also the pain of loved ones we lift up in prayer. And that is exactly what we did. After the crafts (which were centered around healing and family) were over, we settled in for a celebration that included a very emotional prayer in which we all said aloud the names of loved ones who were in need of mending. While the first time I heard this story, it was absolutely a testament to the way God heals, this time around, something very different spoke to me.
God wants us to show up and walk humbly with Him. Have faith. We don’t have to make it so difficult.
When I think about having faith, grandiose gestures always come to mind. Standing on my soap box preaching to passerby’s. Always suggesting prayer first to anyone showing signs of distress. Outwardly telling each person I meet how much I love Jesus so that it is absolutely clear I’m on the right track to heaven. God gives a love so big, so unbiased, so perfect, that He certainly deserves these big expressions. But, here’s the truth…I don’t do any of those things. In fact, I don’t do much in the way of preaching at all. I’ve always felt my relationship with God is very private so I don’t speak about it unless I’m writing or provoked. I’ve always admired those who speak freely about their religious relationships but it’s just not me. But guess what? God still loves me. It struck me big time when I heard the words from Luke 5:20. “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the man, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven.’” Really, I thought? He’s forgiven? That isn’t a grandiose gesture! We’d show that much trust on a typical trip to our general physician. But here’s the cool thing…to God, it is a grandiose gesture. In fact, it’s the only gesture God asks of us. God wants us to show up and walk humbly with Him. Have faith. We don’t have to make it so difficult. God is not looking for big performances with a side of showing off. He just wants us. So, the next time you start to wander in la la land or nod off a little, perk yourself up or you’ll miss it. Just because you’ve heard it before, doesn’t mean you’ve learned all you can.