Many times in life we find ourselves in situations that we didn’t foresee that keep us from fulfilling our objectives. Sometimes the most routine of agendas turns out to be difficult if not impossible to accomplish. We can feel trapped in our circumstances and need help to escape. At other times we may be the help that someone else desperately needs.
When I was young we used to take our annual vacations at Cave City Ky and explored mammoth cave. One year I couldn’t go, but my Dad and Brother decided to take a spelunking tour. Complete with knee pads and hard hats. They had to crawl through some very tight passageways and in one of them my Dad got stuck when he was about half way through. He said that it was one of the scariest events of his life. This brings to mind the story of a man by the name of Floyd Collins.
Floyd Collin’s family owned Crystal Cave. A nice cave but it was too far off the tourist trail to make much money. Floyd was determined to find an entrance to the Mammoth Cave System that visitors would see before they came to Mammoth’s historic entrance. Sand Cave is one of those little “nothing” caves that are usually bypassed by almost everyone. On Jan. 30, 1925, Floyd was on his way out of a dangerously unstable passage when a 27-pound rock fell on his foot. There is a chance that the passage did lead to Mammoth and that Floyd had *found* what he was looking for when he got trapped. Understand, Floyd Collins was known as the best caver in the country surrounding the longest cave system in the world. But further exploration that day was not to be. Just 120 feet from the entrance and 60 feet underground, Floyd lay unable to move in the darkness.
For more than 2 weeks, Floyd suffered in that cold, wet tight passage. Above was a carnival atmosphere, each day the news was reported in the Louisville, KY newspaper from a first-hand account as their brave reporter navigated the unstable cave passage, fed, talked with and even attempted several times to free Floyd himself.
Finally, after all the excitement, worldwide attention, mine shaft and all, Floyd still lay trapped. Sometime around the 15th day, Floyd’s voice was stilled forever. The authorities decided it was too dangerous to remove the body and left it there. 80 days later Floyd’s brother Homer raised enough money to give Floyd a decent burial. Later, Crystal Cave was sold and Floyd’s body was put in a glass-topped coffin in Crystal Cave. For many years cavers paid their respects. Then the body was stolen and afterward found in the river minus a leg. This was quite a dramatic national story and was just as well known or even more than the “Baby Jessica” story was a few years ago. And that was without TV!
In this podcast we will look at a man in the Bible that was unable to move; just like Floyd Collins he was trapped and unable to free himself:
Here we have a man sick of the palsy, (PALSY, To paralyze; to deprive of the power of motion; to destroy energy.) (websters 1828) who desperately needed some help. He could not do anything to help himself. The palsy is one of the most striking emblems of the dead and helpless state of our fallen nature (Ephesians 2:4-12). Every sinner, until healed by Christ, is palsied in all his faculties; The sinner is no abler within himself to give health and activity to his soul, (Ephesians 2:8-9) than the man of palsy to rise up and use his limbs.
He had four friends that were willing and able to assist him, in order to get the help that he needed. We will look at the four ways that these friends met the need:
They had a Deep Concern for others. as Christians we are required to have compassion for others. In Ephesians 4:32 we are commanded to be kind one to another; in Colossians 3:12 we are told that as the elect of God, we are to be merciful, patient and forgiving to one another. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 and 1 Peter 3:8 both remind us that we are to comfort those in trouble, as we have ourselves been comforted by the Lord.
Next, we see that they Demonstrated great faith; a faith that is real. As we read Hebrews 11:1-3 we see that with real faith has characteristics. In verse 1 we see that Abel had a Worshiping faith: Our faith should encourage us to worship the Lord. “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” (John 4:23). Next, notice that just as Enoch (Hebrews 11:2) our faith should be a walking faith; Enoch walked with God and our faith should well up a desire in us to walk with him as well; Walk with him by spending time in his word and in prayer. Finally, we see that in the example of Noah (Hebrews 11:3) that our faith needs to be a working faith. Noah had to work in order to demonstrate his faith. He had to believe that God would cause it to rain, even though it had never rained before, and that this rain would cause a global flood in which the only way to escape was to build a ship to the exact specifications that he had received directly from God. These friends had a faith that works (Mark 2:4-5).
Let’s look at Matthew 7:7, Jesus said that we must ask, seek and knock, but most people stop at the asking. These men went all the way with their faith. They didn’t stop when things became difficult. If it cannot be done in one way, do it in another. If there is no way of doing it on the ground level, get up on to the roof and do it. If there is a will, there is a way.” (H.C. Trumbull)
Thirdly notice that they Didn’t allow difficulty to hinder their efforts. They couldn’t come near because of the press, That’s what the press will do, it will try to keep you from Jesus by attempting to Convince you that this isn’t a “Christian” nation, working to Convince you that all roads lead to the same place, not according to Jesus they don’t, Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6) and they have been trying to Convince you that you came from a “rock”.
These four friends didn’t turn away because things got tough; instead, they carried him to the roof. They realized that they needed help from up on high. It took effort to overcome the obstacles that were separating them from Jesus they needed to break through everything that keeps us snug and comfortable; They had to break through the tendency to believe that they could do it themselves or that there would be a more convenient time to do business with Jesus. They also realized that they needed to humble themselves berfore the Lord (Luke 18:9-14). They needed to lower the palsied Man down to Jesus in order to receive the help that they desired (Mark 2:4). See the following passages in refrence to our need to humble ourselves:
- But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
- Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
- Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
- Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
The Lord not only cured the man of his Palsy, but forgave him of his sin.(vs 5)
- Psa 68:19
- Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.
- Psa 103:2
- Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
- Psa 116:12
- What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?
He did more for them than they even imagined was possible.
- What a reward for their faith! Here is infinitely more than they ever expected (Ephesians 3:20).
- No wonder that it is written in Scripture — “”This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4)
Finally, we see that they Decided to work together. If we are to accomplish anything in the work of the Lord, we must find others that will work with and we can’t shy away from daring to be different. We are to be different than the rest of the world (2 Corinthians 6:17-18)
- Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
There is a cause to fight for, there are people that we all know that are in a desperate spiritual condition. They are Parlyzed by guilt, doubt and fear, they can’t find their way to Jesus and are depending on us. You could be someone’s last hope, don’t give up.
Do whatever it takes to get them to Jesus. No matter what we have to do, how long it takes or how much people criticize us. For their sakes don’t give up!
Which part of this Podcast resonated the most for you? Please share your comments or thoughts