Mick Jagger is right!
“You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You get what you need”
There is a story recorded in the Bible (Luke 5:18-25) of a paralyzed man being lowered through the roof of a house by four friends of the man, so that they could present him to Jesus for healing. When Jesus sees the man, He says, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” Duh…what is UP with that?
Can you imagine the look of disappointment on the faces of the crippled man? How about the guys who just destroyed the roof of the host in hopes of getting the cripples legs restored? Imagine this dialogue, “Yo, Jesus…Dude, we just destroyed this guy’s roof. We are going to have to pay for this and you don’t seem to get it. Look at this man, Dog. He doesn’t need his sins forgiven…he needs to walk again” (Loose translation of the original Aramaic)
But what Jesus knew then and He knows today is that the most important thing we all need is to get right with a loving, but just, God. Jesus knew then and He knows now that “frustration is difficult, but the real disasters in life occur when we get what we want.” Many stories have been written about young, aspiring movie actors, singers, and those who feel that if they would only get the big break and become famous that then their lives would be fulfilled. Fast forward to those same, now famous, people (read Alec Baldwin, Lindsay Lohan, Amy Winehouse) and see how there lives have played out. Lotto winners offer the same example. Studies have shown that Lotto players feel that if they win the BIG money, then their lives will be perfect. When they “get what they want” a majority (some estimate over 90%) of the winner’s lives implode. Suicide, prison, loss of friends and family and bankruptcy are common occurrences. Getting what we want is a recipe for disaster…
Rather, Jesus offers us what we really need. A just God demands payment for sinful behavior. If God were not Holy and just, then that kind of “Santa Claus” God could do nothing for us. But a God, who is just and loving, sends His own Son, Jesus to take and make the payment on the cross in our stead. Everything that we deserved went to Jesus and everything that was rightfully His, comes to us.
We are looking at eternity…with or without God. That’s the bottom line. Once we get right with our sin, and accept the full pardon of God’s grace, we are set free…from guilt, shame, self-hatred and so many other awful things.
The good news of this story is that Jesus did “get it” and healed the man and restored his legs. But, He loved the paralyzed man (and us) so much that He will not simply leave us in our desires and give us simply what we want…He gives us what we NEED first. Well done, Mick… good lyrics.