I began to lose my grip from the beads of sweat forming inside the palm of my hands. It didn’t help that a man bumped into me causing me to stumble. If it weren’t for the strength and quick reflexes of my other friends, who each carried a corner of the mat, I would have dropped him right in the middle of the crowd. We found a moment of relief from the heat beating down on us under a palm tree nearby. I considered giving up but then I heard the rustle of leaves from overhead. I tilted my head in the direction of the sound and had a thought. There was another route to Jesus we hadn’t thought of yet.
In the story of the paralytic, we see faith overcoming obstacles. Crowds blocked the entrance to the home where Jesus was ministering, but four determined men pressed onward and came up with a solution. They would make their way to the roof and lower their friend down into the presence of Jesus. Why? Because they were certain if they did, their dear friend would walk again.
These men were not paralyzed by fear, pride or discouragement. They did not allow a stronghold to keep them from pursuing truth. Strongholds are false belief systems, which hinder the abundant life we were meant to live. Often we’re not aware of their presence. Sometimes we need others to help us enter God’s presence and receive what we need from Him.
I remember a time in my life when I was desperate to be free from negative thoughts that plagued me. I was always worried about what others thought about me. It was stealing my joy and peace. At the time, I attended a women’s prayer group where I would hear stories of women being set free through personal encounters with Jesus. These women helped me leave my comfort zone and brought me into His presence. They held the corners of my mat, and I received heart revelation about my true identity and purpose. I took what I learned through being a part of that group and applied it at home on a regular basis. Today, I am freer because I have learned to recognize my need and receive from God.
You were created to walk, run, dance and even fly! Anything less is a limitation within your creative divine design. Today, ask yourself what is limiting you? Most of the restrictions we place on ourselves are based on lies we believe. Receiving and resting in God’s love through contemplative prayer brings us into His presence and makes us whole: limitless. Who is holding the corners of your mat?
*The story of the paralytic is found in Mark 2:1-5