Each week in the message guide we have questions for reflection to help us go deeper into the message from the week and how it applies to our daily lives. I will try throughout this Lent to share my reflections. The questions today were taken from the Gospel passage we read yesterday and the healing of the paralytic in the second chapter of Mark’s Gospel. The first question was, “What do you think the paralytic was thinking when Jesus forgave his sins and didn’t address is physical issues?” I have to believe the paralytic was just a bit confused and wondering what Jesus was doing. He must have been thinking, “Jesus, don’t you understand that I can’t walk? Look at my legs, my main problem is not sin but that I can’t walk, that’s why these guys dragged me here, ripped open the roof and dropped me right in front of you.”
This is an important point because sometimes we pray for God to do something about our visible world and he appears to do nothing. Maybe the reason he waits is because he wants to do something in our hearts. I know God has been working on my heart the last year about issues I have had about some relationships, showing me where I need to take responsibility and where there are issues of hurt from the past that are my real problem and not the people I have been blaming. This can be true for us in so many areas of life. We see clearly the visible problem and so we try to solve it with band-aids and not addressing the root issue. Instead, Christ wants us to see how our own sin has led to the problem and take responsibility for it. Rather than solving our visible problems, he wants to change our hearts and address the sin that leads to these problems. This doesn’t mean we should quit asking God to help us in our visible circumstances whether it be to get out of debt, improve our relationships, or find a better career. It means that we should be prepared that the answer to the prayer will not necessarily be the thing we have been asking for, but the challenge to address some sin in our life or deal with issues beneath the surface.