And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.
This man definitely didn’t go home the same as he came. He came completely helpless, needing to be carried by his friends on his bed, but he went away walking and carrying that bed himself. He came under bondage and left free. He came wanting and left satisfied. He came suffering and left glorifying. And surely he learned some important lessons from his time in that house with the Lord. And it was Jesus who made all the difference, a real and tangible difference, because we are never the same after being in His presence.
But our faith matters, because a lot of people who witnessed all this went home the same as they came. A doubting heart prevents the Spirit from working. A distracted mind prevents the truth of God from sinking in. Blinded eyes refuse to see God working. Unbelief prevents Jesus from touching our hearts and changing something about us. And what a shame it is for us to go away exactly the same as we came after spending time with Him in His Word or at church or in prayer.
But after Jesus has worked in our hearts, may our lives be a testimony that glorifies Him. May we never cease to praise Him just for His goodness and His grace that He showers into our lives. We go forward in our newness into lives that honor Him, doing those things that please Him, and proclaiming Him to everyone around us. We can be living testimonies of the transformative power of Jesus that draws others to come to Him for themselves.
May we always go away from our time with Jesus different than when we came. May our time with Him matter in real, tangible ways in our lives. May our experiences of Him change us. May His teaching and His work make a difference somehow in our lives. May our hearts and minds always be open to Him and ready to try something new or cast off some idea that doesn’t align with His truth. May we find the help and strength we need in Him to go back walking instead of carried, forgiven instead of burdened, fully satisfied, whole and free.