For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:1-3)
When we are knitted together, we share burdens, and our hearts are encouraged. We live life together. Like rooftop friends we get to know in Luke:5:17-20.
One day He was teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing. And some men were carrying on a bed a man who was paralyzed; and they were trying to bring him in and to set him down in front of Him. But not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.”
Do you have friends like the paralyzed man?
They went to a lot of trouble. Not only were they working together to carry him on a mat (instead of one or two people scooping him up) but they weren’t easily deterred. They were persistent in getting to Jesus. When they couldn’t push through the crowd, they looked for another access point: the roof. It wouldn’t have been an easy task to get a man on a mat onto and through the roof, but they worked together and got it done.
This man could do nothing to help. He couldn’t make himself weigh less. He couldn’t limp along, sharing only part of his weight. If they had put him down, he couldn’t have proceeded unassisted. He was dependent on his friends.
Jesus noticed “their faith.” He saw compassion in their little community. He noticed mercy in their relationship. He knew that it came from a faith in Him so intense that they weren’t willing to stop. They pursued Him even if it meant going through the roof to reach Him.
We’re often willing to be the kind of friend who does the lifting. We’re willing to help. We’ll sacrifice for others. But are we willing to sacrifice our pride to accept the same kind of help? Are we fostering relationships that invite us to humility, accepting and trusting the sacrificial help of others?
Friends come and go through seasons of our lives, so sometimes we’re in the process of letting go of friendships while we’re in the early phase of planting seeds in other friendships. But we should always be cultivating. We might not know who is going to be in the group of rooftop friends when we need them, but we always need to be intentional in not only investing in others but also letting them invest in us.
Dear God, thank You for my rooftop friends! I know I don’t rely on people as often as I should. I am usually more than willing and ready to help others. I find it to be a joy and honor to serve, but I don’t give others that same joy. I’m sorry. I know that I not only rob other people of the joy but also rob You of the joy. You have knit us together in love to encourage us and to know You better. But we need to yield. We need to let You guide every step of the way. Please forgive me and continue to challenge me to trust Your provision of community in my life.