The Proper Perspective
Sometimes Christians lose their perspective on their relationship with God. This happens whenever things are not going right physically. We may pray to God to help heal our sickness or remove our burdens. We may ask him to give us more physical blessings. There is nothing wrong with requesting such things from God. God encourages us to lay all of our cares on Him. However, we can become overly focused on our physical requests. When God does not grant them, we become discouraged.
In Mark 2, we see a situation that helps us examine our hearts. He has been healing people, and the crowds follow him everywhere, hoping to hear His teaching and receive His miracles. A paralytic has heard about Jesus and wants to receive healing. His four friends carry him to where the Messiah is teaching. However, they cannot enter the door because it is so crowded. His friends bring him on a stretcher to the roof and then drop him down through the ceiling. Jesus sees all of their faith, and he tells the paralytic that his sins are forgiven.
Put yourself in the paralytic’s mindset for a moment. He was coming there for a miracle. He hoped that Jesus would help him walk. And yet Jesus does not heal him at first. Instead, Jesus forgives him of his sins. If you were him, would you have been disappointed? Would you have felt as if you had wasted your effort? Would Jesus forgiving you be enough?
Truly, Jesus had given him the greater blessing. The ability to walk would only last a few short years, but the forgiveness of sins was an eternal blessing. In the end, Jesus winds up giving him both (Mark 2:10-11). But the physical healing was a representation of the spiritual reality.
When we go to God in prayer, we need to remember that he has already blessed us with all the spiritual blessings in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3). Jesus teaches us in Matthew 6:33 that we must seek out God and his kingdom first. The physical worries need to always take a back seat to the spiritual.
He may choose to provide us with other physical blessings as well. But we should not lose heart if God does not answer our prayers the way we want. It would be a mistake to give up the greatest gift due to resentment over not receiving a lesser one.