When it comes to being generous, each one of us probably thinks about our wallet first. We automatically assume that generosity, involves money. However, being generous with our lives is more than just our resources, it also involves our time; our talents; our other resources and our energy – all of which if you think about it, are limited.
Four nameless men, had a friend (Mark 2:1-12). He does not have a name either, but we know he was disabled, so he could not go anywhere by his own efforts. These men knew where Jesus was meeting, at a place which was full of the “who’s who” of the church. All the leaders of society were there too, so interestingly, these men were not specifically invited guests, but they knew Who was in the house.
They also knew that this Jesus, could bring restoration to their friend.
So, they gave their time, energy and resources, their ability to walk and carry. One put together a stretcher and they convinced their disabled friend to take a trip. When they got there, it was impossible to get in, the place was packed. Again, they put their heads together, worked as a team and found a solution. They opened the roof of the house, (one of them had to know how to do it) and another coordinated the dropping down of the friend. Right in front of Jesus!
Jesus healed the disabled man, not because of his own faith, but because of the faith of his four friends.
This man received restoration by the action of his friends.
The interesting thing about this story is:
They remained nameless. Scripture does not record who they were, or in fact anything about them. Were they young, old, handsome, rich? However, by their efforts and their faith, their friend received healing. It just goes to show, we will not always be named and recognized for the service and giving of time and resources we give to others. In fact, people will talk more about the man that was healed and his story, than the four men that got him there.
Also, they worked as a team. Each one gave what he had in time, talent and resources. There was no discussion about equal carrying of the load. I am sure there was one friend who was more talented in the muscle department than the others. Yet, even though they didn’t all carry an equal load, each one carried their part of the load and made a sacrifice. By combining their resources, time and energy, they were able to see their friend restored and healed.
The friend who received healing went away praising God. So too, did the community of spiritual and social leaders who were audience to the man receiving his healing. They too, praised God.
Finally, the four friends went away praising God. Seeing their friend healed, had in it for them, its own reward. They saw their friend healed and restored, and that is all that mattered to them.
When we are generous with our lives, and we give of our time, talent and resources in the service of others, we must understand that we may not be recognized for it by people, but our Father in heaven sees what we are doing, and rewards us (Matt 6:5; Matt 6:6 and 6:18). We will see the disabled and broken of this world healed when we live generous lives and we will be able to worship with others, our wonderful God.
Lord give me a generous heart, one that gives what I have in service of others to see them benefit and live restored lives. Help me to look at what I can give, rather than my limited resources because when I combine it with what others have, people’s lives will be changed and I will be able to worship You for Your goodness to us.