Luke 5:24 – I will prove to you, then, that the son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins. So he said to the paralyzed man, "I tell you, get up, pick up your bed, and go home!" (GNB)
One of the joys of family camping is trying to fit four camping cots into a tent eleven feet square. This year I discovered that our tent with four cots is filled to capacity with little or no room to manoeuvre, unless one of the cots is folded up first. Needless to say it is crowded.
I prefer the new style of camping cots that fold and unfold in one step and fit easily into a carrying case with a shoulder strap to carry them. One morning when our family was tenting, I was helping to fold the camping cots, to place them in their cases, and to carry them out of our tent. My mind drifted to thoughts of the story of Jesus and the paralyzed man. I was, after all, walking out of the tent carrying my bed!
Luke reports the story of friends carrying a paralyzed man on his bed and attempting, but failing, to enter a crowded house through the door. These resourceful men did not give up but subsequently tried another approach. They climbed to the roof-top still carrying their friend on his bed, made an opening in the roof tiles, let the man down on his bed, and placed him directly in front of Jesus.
Jesus was impressed by the faith these friends demonstrated and he healed the man on the bed. Jesus looked directly at him and said: "I tell you, get up, pick up your bed, and go home!"
I suspect that Jesus' words will come to my mind each time I use a camping cot. Perhaps you will also find Jesus speaking in the simple experiences like camping.
Prayer: Gracious God, You give us many daily experiences that are simple when we work and play. Help us to reflect on our experiences and listen for your words when you are speaking directly to us. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.