October 15

And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. Mark 2:4

Four men carried their paralysed friend to the crowded house where Jesus was speaking. It is small wonder that He nearly always preached in the open air! This house was in the quiet Galilean backwater of Capernaum in the first century. There were no cars, trains, newspapers or telephones. Life would have proceeded at a leisurely place, like many of the remote rural villages in Africa today. So the normal thing would have been to wait for the meeting to finish and then approach Jesus when the crowd had dispersed. But these four men were in the grip of a desire and an expectancy that could not wait. Their faith led them to break through all the obstacles in their path and bring their suffering friend to the feet of Jesus. Faith, love and the presence of Jesus produce a passion and a zeal that will not rest till we have unburdened our hearts at Jesus’ feet. The chief obstacles that hinder us are not physical, they are to be found in our hearts and minds. Angels must gaze in amazement at the indifference of human beings, and shake their heads at the excuses we give. The truth is that there will never be better conditions for faith than the ones we have today. The only question is whether we will tear apart the ‘roof tiles’ that separate us from Him, or else be swamped by the listless indifference of life. Wherever we are, at whatever time of our lives, God is within our reach. He is closer than an arm’s length, even closer than the air we breathe.