A familiar praise chorus that plays in my mind quite often is that soaring, multi-note verse which we sing “I……I’m desperate for you” in a cry from our heart to Jesus. We love to sing the song to our savior or even just hear it playing on the CD player but what would Jesus really desire from us? Is he pleased with our pitch-perfect rendition of the song or would he rather that you and I were truly desperate for him. I’ve had the quiet of a warm summer evening alone to meditate on how truly desperate I am and I come up wanting.
In Mark chapter two, the story is told of an event in which a great crowd has gathered to hear Jesus teach in Capernaum. So many people gathered, desperate to hear the word of truth taught that there was no room anywhere, even in the doorway or outside the door. Four men, also desiring to be near the Lord, brought their paralyzed friend in the hope that a brief touch from the Healer might free their brother from his bondage. They moved en masse from door to door, window to window trying to catch a glimpse of Jesus but there were so many others already there that hope began to fade. They were desperate.
The normal avenues of getting close to Jesus were closed but these five men were unwilling to be turned away. They climbed, muscling the unmoving body of their friend inch by inch up the outside stairway all the while fearing the Jesus might finish his talk before they could find even a small opening. Upward they went, bumping the paralyzed man occasionally against the wall but never stopping as they looked for another window, another door. Finally, they could go no further. Ahead of them lay the expanse of a thatched roof which to some might be the indicate the end of the line. Not to a desperate man though. These friends were willing to go to any length, take any risk, and experience any hardship in order to heal their friend. The hole started small, probably nothing more than a wind shifted opening in the thatch but with the application of eight hands, the opening became bigger. Large enough to spy the Lord at first, the men knew this wouldn’t be enough so they returned to work, scraping and moving the thatch until the hole was big enough for a man. Their hearts pounded from the exertion and excitement as they grabbed a corner of their friends mat and lowered it desperately into the sight of the Savior. All the Paralytic could do was look to Jesus with hope.
We need to ask ourselves how desperate we are. Are we comfortable, putting Jesus in a secondary or tertiary position in life? Are we turned away by the crowd around Jesus, telling ourselves that we could never push through the wall of people to get closer to him? Would we go to the windows or even up the stairs a couple of steps in order to catch a glimpse before turning away? None of these option reflect a heart that is truly desperate for Jesus. Only when we are willing to scratch a hole in the roof, to break down some walls because we are unwilling to be turned away from our Hope are we truly in need. Jesus is waiting.