When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."
Mark 2:5

The people you surround yourself with should be able to bless you as you bless them. None of your relationships should be parasitic, where one party keeps giving with nothing in return. Trust me, it is exhausting.

However, there are times when all a person can do is receive.

In the beginning of Mark 2, we find four people lugging this paralytic to Jesus so that He can bless him. When they arrive to where Jesus is, the house is packed with people who want to hear His preaching. So much so that there is no way to replicate the parting of the Red Sea with this crowd, meaning that this guy won't be getting his blessings if they try to go through the door.

Instead of giving up, these men decide to carry this heavy guy up some stairs to the roof and proceed to go through the gravel and create a hole in order to lower the paralytic into the middle of the house, bypassing the crowd and getting him to Jesus.

Now those are some awesome friends... cause strangers wouldn't have done that.

So Jesus, in the midst of His teaching, looks up and sees a paralytic coming through the roof. And He also sees the effort his friends went through in order to make this happen. He sees their faith (they knew that Jesus could heal their friend and went through high waters to get him to Him) and blesses the paralytic, who did nothing. He just had some really good friends.

Usually, I'm worried that God only blesses me because of my association with other people. I've become resentful about receiving help because the word help insinuates, in my mind, weakness. 

And I don't want to be weak, so I don't want your help, I can get my blessings myself.

As if I can earn anything that God decides to give me... And I can't... So who am I to despise the way that God chooses to bless me?

A brat to be honest... A self-righteous, self-sufficient brat.

My friends' faith and blessings cannot rob my worth found in Christ. I'm trying so hard to accept that truth because I am so good at the comparison game. There have been too many times that I've berated myself because of what's going on in my friends' lives and when I focus on that I lose my joy and I'm a horrible person to be around.

Because I forget things I should be happy about...
  • My friends carry me when I'm down. 
  • My friends help me break strongholds in my life. 
  • My friends hold me accountable to my beliefs and my dreams. 
  • My friends pick up my slack. 
  • Most importantly, my friends always point me back to Jesus. 
They always remind me of His love and His promises. They never let me forget, when I am paralyzed by fear, who my God is.

I'm blessed to have such friends as these and I pray that I become the type of friend who holds it down for someone who feels as if life is too hard.

I'll break down any door, wall, roof (shoot, the whole house) to show that Jesus is truly there amongst all the chaos.

Because He is.

Mini Bites 15.0

I have trouble in trusting God sometimes because I focus on myself too much. I get caught up on my failures, insecurities and doubts. Then I look up and view Him in that same color of insufficiency that I see in myself. And I'm left wondering why He isn't doing something marvelous in my life...
We need to stop conforming and projecting our image (how we see ourselves) onto God. He is not like us at all. He doesn't look at us the way we do. He doesn't get exasperated with us. He isn't quick to cuss us out. He isn't like that boy who hurt you. He isn't like the girl who badmouth you.
He is nothing like us.
God is love and grace and truth and patience and mercy and joy and strength and able and beautiful.
God made us (not the other way around) in His image. He calls us to His level. He enables us to elevate from our negative thoughts and we have to step our game up.

Mini Bites 14.0

I was convicted reading this verse yesterday. The past week, or to be honest, the past year, I've been lurking on all types of social media, admiring and wishing that my life could look like everyone else's. I wish I could travel more and have a beautiful family and be successful in my field. Hours would pass by as I drooled on multiple timelines.
But God corrected me and revealed that He didn't call me to be like anyone else. I am an original. There is only one Regine Darius and if I want to be great as me, I need to shift my focus. God called me to Himself, not to any of those people I cyber-stalk. He doesn't want another copy. He wants me. And the people I admire don't hold the blueprint to being myself; God does.
Stop looking around as if you are lacking. You won't fit into anyone else's skin. God made you perfectly. Yea, you can have role-models and mentors but no one can do you like Jesus can. Who knows you better than the One who made you? If you need an upgrade, look to Him.