Mark 2:3-5 – And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. (KJV)
Today's passage is a story of faith and devotion, of sacrifice and of love. Here we have a group of men who cared so much about their friend that they went to extreme lengths to take him to Jesus that he might be healed. Jesus mentions their faith, but their devotion and sacrifice to their friend is also of great importance. Such devotion and self-sacrifice is not a common thing in our world today.
I was reminded of this fact one morning in worship as we sang an old familiar hymn. I had probably sung it a hundred times during my life, but never until this time did I really grasp what the song was saying. As we began singing it that day, I immediately realized why the songwriter had written the song.
The song was entitled "Make Me A Blessing". The particular phrase that caught my attention was "Make me a blessing to someone today." While I do not claim to know exactly what the writer was thinking or feeling when he wrote this song, it does appear to be a prayer, and as I realized that, I also realized exactly what the writer was praying for. He was praying for others, not for himself. He was offering himself up as a sacrifice for others. He was not praying for God to "Give Him A Blessing Today", he was not asking God for anything for himself. He was asking that God would make him a blessing! He wanted God to use him so that someone else might be blessed.
As Christians, we have a responsibility to love, care for, and minister to others — not just to ourselves, or even to our families and friends, but to all others. We should have the same kind of devotion to those we encounter in our daily lives as the men in today's passage had for their afflicted friend, the same kind of caring that the songwriter expressed in his prayerful song.
I think that oftentimes in our prayers we feel that lifting up others in our prayers is the end of our responsibility — that once we mention a sick person, or a needy person, or a lost person to God in our prayers, it is now out of our hands. But we should take our prayers and our actions a step further. We should genuinely ask God each day to use us to minister to the needs of these people — to make us a blessing to someone. It is not an easy prayer to pray, as it appears at first that we may be sacrificing a blessing of our own for the sake of another. But God always blesses those who bless others.
Let's change our prayers and our actions toward ministering to and blessing others. In addition to, or maybe even instead of, asking God to give us a blessing, let us ask Him to make us a blessing.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we ask you today to use us in your service and to make each of us a blessing to someone today. Help us to minister to those whom we know are in need, and use us as instruments to bless those we have lifted up in prayer. Amen.