Deuteronomy 1.31 NKJV
“…and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.”
There is a time to be carried and a time to carry. In the wilderness, the Lord carried His people “as a man carries his son.” Forty years later, on the border of the promised land, God commanded the people to carry themselves. They were ordered to occupy and take possession of their inheritance. God would go before them into the promised land. He would fight on their behalf (Deuteronomy 3.22). But the Israelites must now muster faith, carry themselves into the battle, and possess the land “flowing with milk and honey” (Deuteronomy 6.3).
Fourteen hundred years later, a paralytic was carried on a stretcher by his friends and lowered through a hole in the roof of the house where Jesus was preaching. When Jesus saw their faith, He forgave the crippled man’s sins and healed him. “Immediately he... picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God” (Luke 5.25). For the paralytic, there was a time to be carried, and then a time to carry himself.
The crippled guy needed his stretcher until he didn’t need it any more. But he did not leave his stretcher behind. Rather, the paralytic “picked up what he had been lying on.” Why would a former cripple pick up the stretcher he no longer needed? Perhaps he did need it... to carry other cripples. There is a time to be carried and a time to carry.
I was carried to Jesus by those who cared. I must care enough to carry others there.