It Takes a Village

Every day, I take a certain exit on the tollway near my house at least twice, and each time I exit, there is a person asking for money. Usually, I recognize the person because there are a few who rotate through that particular exit. One man is missing a leg. One woman appears to have a major issue with her left leg and wears a brace on the leg. One rather tall man has what appears to be a tumor protruding at the top of his neck. 
As I mentioned, I take this particular exit pretty regularly, so I see these people day in and day out. The burden to figure out what to do and give these people is real. So many times I find myself thinking, “What would Jesus do in this situation?” Lately, I found myself asking this question, "What did this person do (or not do) to get to this place?"
When I ask myself this kind of question, one word always comes to mind "Community."
Community. God built us for community.
From the beginning of humanity, we are shown that man did not do well living alone. We still do not do well living alone.
When you have a struggle, a need, and even praise, where do you turn? We should always turn to God first, but who is (or isn't) in your life to help you and be there for you? How do you build your community? What might be holding you back from being a part of community?
There are two examples of community in the Bible that are drastically different. The first example is the account of the four friends who lowered their paralytic friend down to Jesus (Mark 2:1-12). Jesus' fame had grown among the villages and therefore, the houses were packed full of people who wanted to hear from Him directly. The four friends had heard about Jesus, and they knew they had to get their sick friend to Jesus at any cost. The house was full, so they climbed on the roof and tore away the roofing materials and lowered their friend right down in front of Jesus. They risked a lot; they risked injury, they risked getting into trouble by the homeowner, they risked having to pay for damages, they risked being let down (in the event Jesus could not heal their friend), and they risked their faith.
A few things to note. First, the paralytic had friends. He had people he was in community with – people that knew his needs and his limitations. Second, these friends were faith-filled friends who were looking to help their friend. They were friends who would quite possibly, "lay down their lives for their friend." Third, his friends were "all-in." They didn't just leave their friend at the door, ring the bell and run away. They didn't just have someone send a message to Jesus. Even after they lowered him through the roof, they didn't just set him anywhere in the room. They set him directly in front of Jesus, so there would be no doubt that Jesus would see this man. Their faith and their actions allowed them to witness a miracle.

The Bible does not tell us how long this man had been paralyzed. We do not know how long these friends knew this man. Maybe they had known him for years, or maybe they had known him for just a couple of days. Regardless, these friends were close enough to this man that when he needed it the most, they were aware of his needs and got him to the exact place he needed to be to change his life forever.
Now, let's take a look at a different account in the Bible. This particular account is about another paralyzed man who encountered Jesus and received healing. This man had been paralyzed for thirty-eight years and on the day he met Jesus, he was sitting all alone at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-15). When he was asked by Jesus if he wanted to get well, he responded by saying, "I can't, sir, for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me" (John 5:7). This man had no idea he was talking to Jesus and had no idea Jesus could be the source of his healing. He sat there all alone at those waters. We do not know how long he had sat there, but we do know that he did not have any friends who cared about his needs over theirs. The other people around the pool could not take their eyes off of the water because they needed to be the first one in the healing water (it was a first come, first serve basis) and not one person had given up their first-in-the-water spot to him.
Where were his friends to carry him into the water? Where was his community?  
Both of these men had a health issue that was known. It is impossible to hide paralysis, however, what about all of those who are facing health issues that are not so easy to see or talk about? What about those who are dealing with emotional and spiritual issues they are desperately trying to keep under wraps due to pride, worry, and fear?
Jesus healed both of these men instantly. Even though we aren't sure of their faith levels, Jesus still responded. He still responds today...that is not the question.
The question is, who is helping you? Who are you asking for help? Do they know you enough to know your needs? Are you intentionally connected with community?
The paralytic man with the four friends knew who Jesus was because he had friends who were able to bring him the news. The man at the pool of Bethesda had no idea who Jesus was because he had no one to care for him. Our community gets us through hard days. They help with tasks. They can pray for us and with us. They can carry us during those difficult days.
I recently read an article that first appeared in Redbook. In the article, a wife whose husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at the age of thirty-six, was being interviewed. Toward the end of the article, she mentioned how her community helped her as she grappled with helping her husband manage his day-to-day and his debilitating disease while still continuing to function as a working mom of four young children. Her community has rallied around her and carries her through this difficult season. They are providing for so many needs that cannot always be met by anyone other than community.
Friend, I do not know what you are carrying today, but you need community. You need to allow community into your life to help you. We can't heal and provide everything...only Jesus can, but we can be His hands and feet as you wait on Him.
The old, “It takes a village” still rings true today. Make sure your village is full of servant, faith-filled friends who care about you and your needs. That’s the kind of community that is sustainable for the long-haul.

Related Posts

No Comments





Abortion Alcohol Ashkenazi Beer Blogger Blog Christian blogger Daniel Loeb Drinking Gay Marriage Holocaust Intoxicated Church Intoxicate Margaret Sanger New Year Paul Singer Private Sin Public Sin Sandalfeet Ministries Sandalfeet Spirits Tim Gill Wine #Emerge #LiveUnashamed #TurnOffTheDark 'Tis the Season 1 Corinthians 13 1 Peter 3:18 1 Timothy 1:12-16 180 the documentary 1973 1and3 2 Chronicles 7:14 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 2015 2016 Vote 2016 2019 2020 40th Birthday 62nd National Day of Prayer 63rd National Day of Prayer 8 A Few Thoughts About the Starbucks Red Cup A Generation in Crisis A Savior is Born A Shining Star Aaron Abbott and Costello Abraham Acts 16:31 Adultery Advent Calendars Advent Devotional Advent Wreath Advent Against the Grain Agape Alabaster Jar Alaska Airlines Albaster Jar Albie Pearson Alcohol All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten Amanda Guyger Amber Gugyer American Church Ami Chapman Anglican Church Annie the Movie Are You Hurting Your "Friends"? Are You Hurting Your "Friends"? Are You Soaking Ascension Ash Wednesday Ashkenazi Ashley Madison Asma Al-Assad Assemble Aurora Auror Austin & Ally Austin Autumn Awaken Band-Aids Baptism of the Holy Spirit Barak Bashar Al-Assad Bathsheba Be a Voice for the Voiceless Beautiful Gate Beer Being Fed Beirut Attacks Bethel Music Bethseda Better Days Are Ahead Bible Fellowship Bible Museum Bible Study Bible Billy Graham Bishop TD Jakes Bitter Cup Blogger Boaz Bobbie Houston Boko Haram Born In A Manger Boston Marathon Botham Jean Brandt Jean Bride BringBackOurGirls Brittany Maynard Broken things Burdens Busyness C.H. Spurgeon Caleb Castille Calling Canada Cancel culture Casting Crowns Catherine Mullins Change Charles H. Spurgeon Charles Spurgeon quotes Charles Spurgeon Charleston Church Shooting Charleston Chasing the Dragon Chick-fil-A Chicken Child Choose What is Better Christ-follower Christian Radio Christian blogger Christian blog Christianity Christine Caine Christmas All Year Long Christmas Christy Nockels Church Climb a Tree Coffee Bar Colossians 3:13 Comfort Zone Comfortable Community Confirmation Contentment Content Cool Christianity Coop Coronavirus Corrie ten Boom Country Club Covid-19 Covid19 Craving God Ministries Creation Creator Cross Crown of Thorns D.C. DIY DOMA Dads and Daughters Dads Daily Devotional for Lent Daily Devotional Dallas Damascus Dandelions Daniel Loeb Darkness Darlene Zscheh Daughters Of the Deep Daughters Days of Elijah Deborah Defiance Deliverance Democrat Demon Possessed Man Dennis Bratcher Desensitization Deuteronomy Devotional for Lent Devotional Disorder Dominican Republic Don't Act Like a Chicken Don't Give Up Don\'t Give Up Don\\\'t Give Up Don\\\\\\\'t Give Up Donald Trump Doubt Dr. Tony Evans Drinking Dry Bones Dylann Roof ED Commercials Earthquake Easter Eight Practical Tips Election 2016 Election Elephant in the Room Elohim Emanuel A.M.E. Church Emanuel AME Emerge: It's Time To Turn Off The Dark Emerge: It's Time To Turn Off The Dark Emerge: It's Time to Turn Off the Darkness Emerge Emerging: Out of the Shadows of Voluntary Darkness Emerging Emily Lett Empty Tomb Encounters Entertainment Ephesians 1:3 Ephesians 2:8-9 Ephesians 2:8 Ephesians 6:12 Epiphany Erin Olson Erin Olson Dallas Erin Olson Sandalfeet Erin Olson Erin and Scott Olson Erin Esau Esperanza International Esther Evangelism Explosion Evangelism Exodus 1:17 Ezekiel FORGIVEN If we are forgiven why can’t we forgive? How you can know if you are living in unforgive Facebook Live Facebook Faith Fall Family Relationships Family Fasting Father's Day Father's Day Festival of Unleavened Bread Fetter Firing Squad First Fruits First Great Awakening For Your Glory and For Me Forever 21 Forever Forgiveness - Unforgiveness : Revealed Through Your Fruits Forgiveness - Unforgiveness: Revealed Through Your Fruits Forgiveness Bible Study Forgivenes Forgivness Four Friends Friendship Friends Fruits of the Spirit Fruits Fruit Galatians 5:22-23 Garden of Gethsemane Gather Your Neighbors Gather Gay Marriage Gendercide General Revelation Genesis 3:15 Gentleness George Zimmerman Gerasenes Get Out of the Tree GetOurGirlsBack Gideon Gifts Give Credit To Whom Credit Is Due Give Gluten-Free God With Us God is Love God is With Us God is good God's Not Dead God's Will God's Word God's Not Dead God Golden Chord Good Friday Goodness Grace Greg Laurie HIS Bridge Builders Habbakuk Haitian Earthquake Haiti Happy New Year Harvest America 2016 Harvest America Harvest What Does it Mean? Harvest Hate He is Risen Healing Healthy Habits Heart Heaven Kissed the Earth Hebrews 10:14 Hebrews 10:24-25 Hebrews 12:1 Heroes of the faith Hillary Clinton Hillsong United Hipster Christianity His Redeemer Lives His Revelation Holocaust Holy Spirit Holy Week Holy Homeschool Home Hope Defined Hosanna in the Highest House of Prayer Human trafficking Hurricane I Can Only Imagine I Can ISIS Immanuel Impatience In N Out Instagram Intercession Intercessory prayer Intoxicated Church Intoxicate Is It Our Garden Moment Isaac Isaiah 7:14 Isaiah 9:6 Isaiah Israel It Takes A Village It'S Time To Turn Off The Dark It'S Time To Turn Off The Dark Jack Graham Jackie Pullinger Jacob Jael James MacDonald Jehovah-Jireh Jen Hatmaker Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah Jerry-Maguire Jessie Jesus Movement Jesus Revolution Jesus is the Reason Jesus is the reason for the season Jesus' miracles Jesus' will Jesus Jim Cymbala Jimmy Valvano quote Jimmy Valvano Job 23:10 Job Joel Osteen John 10:10 John 14:6 John 15:1 John 3:16 John 8:12 John Hagee Join With The Angels Jonah Joy To The World Joy Judge Deborah Just Ask Erin Karen Wheaton Kari Jobe Kickstarter Kids Ramp Kindness King David King Herod King Hezekiah Kingdom Community Kingdom Winds Kirk-Cameron Lakewood Church Laodiceans Laodicea Las Vegas Leadership Lent Daily Devotional Lent Devotional Lenten Devotional Lenten Season Lent Let it Be Jesus Life Light In the Dark Light of the World Light Lioness Arising Lisa Bevere Listen to Him Liv and Maddie Live Unashamed Living Under an Open Heaven Lord's Prayer Lord's Supper Lot's wife Lot's wife Love Luke 10:42 Luke 11 Luke 2:46 Luke 2:7 Majestic Inspirations Majesty Malachi 1:2 Manchester Mandisa Manna Marathon Margaret Sanger Marilyn Monroe Mary Anoints Jesus Mary Magdalene Mary and Martha Matthew 12:21 Matthew 20 Matthew 21 Matthew 28:19 Matthew 5:9 Matthew 7:24-27 Mat May 7th May 7 Middle-class Mike Fechner Miracles From Heaven Miracles Missions Moms Mom Mordecai Moses Mother's Day Mother's Day Motherhood Motrin Movies Museum of the Bible Museum Music Muslim My Hope America with Billy Graham My Hope America NYC Names of God Narrow Gate Narrow Path National Day of Prayer National Prayer Walk Your Neighborhood National Prayer Walk Nehemiah Neighborhood New Beginnings New Blog New Year New York City NewSpring Worship Niagara Falls Nigerian Schoolgirls Nigeria No Longer Slaves Notes Obedience Oceans Of Mess and Moxie Office Shooting Olive Branch Olive Oil Olson On the Day of the Solar Eclipse One Thing is Necessary One Year Later Open Heaven Operation Christmas Child Oregon's Death With Dignity Act Oregon's Death With Dignity Act Overcome Palm Sunday Parables Parents Pareto Principle Paris Attacks Paris Passion Passover Pastors Patience Paul Singer Peace On Earth Pecking Order Pentecost Perfect Timing Peter Pick up Your Cross Planned Parenthood Podcaster Podcasts Podcast Pool of Bethesda PowerPoint Praise you in the Storm Praise Prayer Closet Prayer Room Prayer Works Pray Preparing for the Harvest Presence of God President Obama Presidential Race President Prestonwood Baptist Church Prestonwood Devotionals Prestonwood Easter Prestonwood Pregnancy Center Prestonwood Women's Ministry Prestonwood Priceless Priscilla Shirer Pro-gay Prodigal Son Progressive Christianity Progressive Promised Land Proverbs 10:12 Proverbs 22:6 Proverbs 31 Psalm 118:1 Psalm 121 Psalm 31:19 Queen Esther Race Racism Rahab Raised to Life Rashness Rebuild America Red Cup Reinhard Bonnke Repent Republican Repurpose Reset 2016 Revealing Darkness Revelation 4:8 Revelation Rick Santorum Robert Fulghum Robin Hill Lane Robin Williams Roe v. Wade Romans 4:7-8 Romans 8:28 Ronnie W. Floyd Rooster Ruth SCOTUSA SYATP 2015 SYATP Sabbatical Year Sabbatical Samaritan's Purse Samaritan's Purse Same-Sex Marriage San Bernardino Sandafeet Sandalfeet Blog Sandalfeet Ministries Sandalfeet Minsitries Sandalfeet Santa Claus Santa Satan Say His name Scarlet cord Scott Olson Dallas Scott Olson Scott and Erin Olson Season Second Coming of Christ Second Great Awakening Second Kings See You At The Pole Self-control Senior Adults Senior Church Goers September 11 Serve Sex trafficking Sexual Abuse Shame Share the Message Shifting the Entertainment Atmosphere Sifting Silence Silent Night Simeon Simon Simplify the Season Sisera Sit At His Feet: Choose What is Better Sit At His Feet: Choosing What is Better Sit At His Feet Soak Social Media Sodom Solar Eclipse Solemn Solomon Sound The Trumpets Special Revelation Spenser Olson Spirit Rising Spirits Spiritual Atmosphere Spiritual Checkup Spiritual Food Spiritual Needs Spiritual Orphans the Book Spiritual Orphans: A Generation in Crisis Spiritual Orphans Spiritual Warning Signals Sprint Stand United Star of Hope Starbucks Start Serving Stop Complaining Stay Gold Stepping Out of the Boat Stormie Omartian Storms Storytellers Stress Strongholds Such a Time As This Supreme Court ruling Surrender Swim Upstream Syrian Conflict Syria TD Jakes Temple Construction Temple Temptation Tenacity Testimony Thankfulness Thankful Thankgiving Thanksgiving The American Humanist Association The Depot Podcast The Gathering The Great Commission The Katinas The King is Among Us The Mission of Motherhood The Ramp The Sisterhood The Tabernacle The Waiting Place The Weeping Prophet Theophany Third Child This I Beiieve Thomas S. Kidd Three Wise Men Tim Gill Time with God Timing Tony Evans Trafficking Transfiguration Trayvon Martin Triumphal Entry Twelve Days of Christmas Unashamed Unbelief Unforgiveness United 2015 Upstream Uzzah VBS 2012 VBS Vacation Bible School Valentine's Day Valentine's Day Vessel Vicky Valle Victor's Crown Virginia Grounds Virtual Academy Voice Institute Voluntary Darkness War Room Washington We Are Called to Forgive Weekend Project Weeping Prophet Whale What If What's in a Name Wheat and Weeds Who's on First? Who's on First? Wide Gate Wide Path Will You Stay Silent? Wine Wise Men Woman at the Well Woman-at-the-well Woodlawn Word for the Year Word of God Word of Life Words Works Worry Creates Pause Worship Music Worship Writing in the Sand Wubble Bubble Ball Wubble Bubble Yahweh Yes You Can You Are Not the Boss of You Your Love For Us Youth Zacchaeus Zechariah 9 Zechariah 'Tis the Season abortion adoption anger authenticity author baby names blessing blog blood moons category 5 hurricane child abuse child trafficking children conversation depression divorce family family vision statement family mission statement stay-at-home mome flu epidemic flu vaccine flu forgiveness forgive four blood moons fruit of the Spirit garth brooks governor abbott hand of God hand-of-god heroines hope housewarming shower hurricane harvey kinsman Redeemer legalism lost lukewarm marriage media ministry mobile sonograms mustard seed nasa nineveh orphans orphan pandemic parable of the mustard seed parenting peace persecution prayer prestonwood baptist choir pro-choice pro-life prodigals prophecy pythonic-spirits python radical obedience radical reconciliation revival sadness spiritual-warfare steps of salvation stomach virus thanks the Bible the Seed the gift of conversation theatre shooting this blood time in His presence tragedy trials trust unanswered prayers unplanned pregnancy waiting widow's oil workplace ministry