Matthew 9: 1-8 (ESV)
And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven." And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, "This man is blaspheming." But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"—he then said to the paralytic—"Rise, pick up your bed and go home." And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
I have been wanting to share this passage with all of you for a while. I gives me great hope, joy and peace to know that we serve a loving God who has already done so much for us. And yet he continues to pour out blessing upon blessing everyday. This little interaction between Jesus and the paralytic has given me a greater vision for what is really important.
Stanton and I weren't sure how much of my brain function I would have during all of this, so he started reading the bible to me when I couldn't really do so for myself. By the time we got home from the hospital, I could follow along in my Bible and start getting more out of it (I'm a visual learner). And by the next week I could read, understand, and felt more empowered to continue my walk with Jesus. All of that to say, Stanton just started in the New Testament with Matthew and so, that's where I have continued to stay.
Reading through Matthew is simply awe inspiring. Things take on a new meaning when you are hit with a life threatening cancer. I was amazed and a little embarrassed at how little I had appreciated these stories before. Jesus healed a lot of people! And with each story of healing, I became more and more assured of his grace and mercy for his children. Not only did he heal people, but he fed thousands, multiple times with only a few loaves of bread and a couple of straggly fish. That's right, God is the ultimate provider too. He cares for us on such a deep level, that he is even concerned for our most basic human need - food.
But, then amidst all of the miraculous healings, feedings, walking on water, etc. He reminds us of what He has already done. "Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven." Amen! The paralytic does not need to be healed, his sins have been forgiven. He has a ticket to the kingdom of God! Any trials on this earth pale in comparison to the joy it will be when we reach heaven. Jesus has provided a way for us to enter into the holiest of places despite our wretched sin.
He goes on to say, "Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"—he then said to the paralytic—"Rise, pick up your bed and go home." The words couldn't have hit me harder if the Bible literally smacked me in the face. Which is easier? Option A - forgive all of your sins so that you can one day enter heaven or Option B- heal a man of some piddly little paralyzation. In my desire for God to heal me and leave me on this earth for a few more years, I had lost sight of how much he has already done for me. God sent his son, Jesus, to die on the cross and bear the weight of our sin. So, that by believing in Him, our sins would be forgiven, and we can spend an eternity in the presence of the almighty God. WOW! And I was worried about some brain cancer. Even if God doesn't heal me, the end result is that I get to spend an eternity praising and worshiping the great I AM?! That's not a bad second option for me.
The extra good news is that Jesus does heal the paralyzed man. After forgiving him of his sins, he still performs another miracle and relieves the man from his earthly physical disability. Because Jesus was completely man and completely God, he knows both sides of the story. He knows the pains that this earth can bring. He knows the emotions of being human. And while on this earth, he felt the physical pains of beatings. His death was absolutely gruesome. So, he understands completely what it is to live on this earth. And, he continues to pour out his grace, peace, and mercy every day for those who believe in him.
As I have said, this passage has focused me in on what is really important. A miracle has already been performed in my life beyond any physical healing. I believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born of the virgin Mary, was crucified, dead and buried. After 3 days he rose from his tomb and ascended into heaven. I believe that Jesus' blood shed at his "death" was payment in full for all of my sins. I believe that the only way to enter the kingdom of heaven is through a personal relationship with the one who took away my sins.
I pray that if there is anyone out there reading this who has not accepted You as their Lord and Savior that they would do so right now. That they would fall, broken and repenting of their sin, before Holy God, creator and sustainer of the universe, the author of life. That they would come to know you and the love that you have for them. Soften hearts this very day, this very moment. Continue to pour out your grace, peace, and mercy upon all of us. Let the Holy Spirit blow through the souls of everyone who reads this so that they may hear your words speaking to them.
Lord, I thank you for the many blessings that you have given me. I am thankful for this affliction because of the many blessings that have come out of it. I thank you for each and every person who has prayed for my healing. I am so overwhelmed by your power and might. I am in awe of how vast your kingdom is on Earth. Lord God, I pray that you will hear the prayers on my behalf and just remove the tumor from my brain. I praise you Father for blessing each new day here on Earth with a new opportunity to live for you. Amen.
Thank you all for joining me on this journey. If there is anything I can do or pray for you, please don't hesitate to ask. Feel free to email me at TeamBASG@gmail.com.