And getting into the boat, Jesus crossed over and came to his own city. And behold some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic “Take heart my son your sins are forgiven.” He then said to the paralytic — “Rise, pick up your mat and go home.” And he rose and went home. Matthew 9:1,2,6,7
Let’s pretend there is a mommy. And let’s pretend she has three boys. Little boys. Rowdy, loud, energetic boys. And let’s pretend that the other day this mommy was at her wit’s end with rowdy, loud and energetic little boys.
Imagine, too, that this mommy really loves Jesus. But no matter, she can still be mean. A yelling, snarling, growling and mean mommy.
Ok…. you guessed it. It’s me. It’s me. Sigh. The mean, snarling, Jesus-loving mommy is me.
And the boys are mine.
And it’s true. I do snarl. And yell. And I wish I could say that because I love Jesus I never act this way.
But I can’t say that.
On this one particular day, my boys were unordinarily loud and highly energetic. And I had reach a breaking point. My patience chipped away by hours of noise and disobedience. Completely paralyzed by my own frustration and inability to “make” my boys less loud. Less little. And less rowdy.
I was paralyzed, too, by my nasty reactions. My ugly, teeth-gritting responses.
So, much like the mat-lying paralytic in Matthew 6, I lay down on my own bed. Depleted and flat on my back. Broken. Needing Jesus to lay his ever-lovin’ hands on me. And cast out my mean-mommyness. And heal me of my over-reacting, snarling paralysis.
But notice the verse in Matthew. Isn’t it interesting that Jesus doesn’t heal this man’s physical body first? Isn’t he brought to Jesus on a mat? Paralyzed?
“Take heart my son your sins are forgiven.” He then said to the paralytic — “Rise, pick up your mat and go home.” v. 2 & 7
Do you see what happens? Jesus’ eyes gaze upon this man, laying flat on his back, helpless, and sees not his broken body, but first his brokenness.
The same happened with me, too. As I lay there, talking to Jesus about my mean-mommyness, He started addressing the underlying problems. Not about motherhood, but about my sin. I was bound by an unrepentant heart.
My soul-neglecting sin.
He reminded me of my need for Him. My need for rest. My need to curl up in the Father’s arms and be nurtured myself, before I am any good at nurturing my children.
My paralysis as a mommy was a direct result of my need for Jesus. For forgiveness. And for freedom.
With tear-streaked temples, I sat up from my bed, took my mat and walked right into the boys’ rooms. With a Bible and my apology. I confessed that that when mommy is a mean mommy, it is most times because she hasn’t been with Jesus. And that makes mommy a mess. A growling, snarling mess.
And guess what…they forgave me. And hugged me. And only like little kids can, forgot all about it the next day.
New mercies. From them. And Him.
Today, what is your paralysis? What would you bring to Jesus on your mat?
Let us allow Him to search our hearts. So we can be forgiven.
And get up. And walk.