“When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”
Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”
The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.”
Towards the end of 2017 I found myself “lying at home, paralyzed, suffering terribly.” I felt as though there was a part of me, a part I didn’t even recognize, that was stuck in a bed at home while I used the little energy I had to just make it through my day. There wasn’t one particular circumstance or incident that caused this, at least not one I could point out, but my spirit was crushed and my heart was heavy. My routines weren’t working, my plans weren’t working, my ideas weren’t working. I resolved that I was not going to carry that into the new year and was hopeful that the end of the year would take my lifelessness away with it as it went. I woke on Monday, January 1st 2018 feeling…….
EXACTLY. THE. SAME.
Nothing had changed. I felt just has hopeless as I had eight hours before. So I gave up. I stop trying, I stopped fighting, I stopped wanting more.
On January 9th, after nine of the most miserable days of my life, I stood with a group of friends and tried my best to stir up affection for Jesus as we worshipped together. A friend of mine stood up and shared that he believed God had one word for each of us there. I recall him stressing that it was just one single word. Not a phrase or a song, just a word. I hadn’t been able to hear from God in weeks, maybe even months, but in that moment I truly believed I could hear God speak just one word to me.
He did. He spoke more clearly than I think I have ever heard him speak to me. It was the soft, sweet, unmistakable whisper of Jesus that I desperately needed in that moment. I went home and drifted off to sleep as I digested his word for me. I slept the WHOLE ENTIRE NIGHT. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I woke up brand new. In one night, with one word, God restored my joy, healed my mind, and reoriented my heart. That part of me that was lying paralyzed stood up and I was whole.
I have never been more sure that it is the spirit of God that saved me, keeps me, and changes me. It’s not my routines, it’s not my personality, it’s not my family history, or my ministry. It’s Jesus. And when I forget and my heart wanders, he is faithful and ready to whisper the one word my heart needs most.