Finish The Hard Thing: When God Lets You Keep Working

Don’t give up.  Just because God hasn’t miraculously broken through the last tiles of the roof – the push to the finish – doesn’t mean you’re not doing the right thing. God wants to see you break through.  Finish the hard thing.

Finish the hard thingGuest post by Jessica @ Overwhelmed to Fulfilled

My pastor recently did a sermon on a pretty familiar story in Luke 5.  However, the description he put in the story opened the door for God to speak a brand new message into my heart to finish the hard thing.  Isn’t that a wonderful thing about scripture?  The living word?  The message we receive changes as we change.  Never in a contradicting way but still new.


The Middle


“What do you want me to do?” I cried out to the Lord standing in front of the mirror, looking at my red scaly face hardly able recognize myself.  I had been treating and still suffering from this skin condition – perioral dermatitis for months.  Desperate I went off of all things – caffeine ( I drank 3-4 cups per day), gluten, dairy, sugar, all fruits, all starchy veggies (my favorite food – potatoes), all sauces.  I prayed like my life depended on it, and I just knew this radical diet is what I had to do.


One month later, I still hadn’t eaten anything forbidden, and my face was still red and scaly.  It had improved.  Yes, but mildly.  I was in the middle.  I was starting to doubt I was doing the right thing.  Everyone thought I was crazy.  Why isn’t God healing me?!  I’m doing everything I know to do.  I’m coming to Him in prayer.  Does He not see how much I’m suffering?


The Middle is a hard place to be.  I wanted to give up, but I couldn’t.  There was no other choice.  I had to finish the hard thing.

finish the hard thing


Let’s share the story in Luke 5:17-26


Jesus was teaching in a little house.  The house was crowded.  People came from all the surrounding cities because they wanted to be healed.  They wanted to see the miracle-working healing Jesus.  So, they came to the place where he was traveling and teaching following Him into a small home.  It was standing room only in the house.  They were trying with all their might to hear the words of Jesus.  Probably hoping that Jesus would perform a miracle for them.

The scene is set – Let’s meet the Paralytic and his friends.


Luke 5:18-20


18 – Some men came carrying on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed, and they tried to bring him in and lay him down in front of Jesus. – 19 – But finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof [ and removed some tiles to make an opening ] and lowered him through the tiles, with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus – 20 – When Jesus saw their ( active ) faith (springing from confidence in Him ), He said, “Man, your sins are forgiven.”


In verse 24 and 25, we see Jesus heal him physically.


24 – … He said to the paralyzed man, “I say to you, get up, pick up your stretcher and get home.” – 25 – He immediately stood up before them, picked up his stretcher, and went home glorifying and praising God.


There are so many profound things to interpret in these scriptures, but I’m only going to focus on the new revelation God showed me that Sunday morning.


The Practical


Wasn’t there an easier way than the roof?  Maybe.  But the houses were not very tall, like today.  Most of them had stairs built into the outside wall allowing them to easily climb on their FLAT roof.  The roof was an area the people would use regularly.  They were not pointed like our roofs today.


Knowing those little details helped add sense to the story for my practical mind.

Inside the House


You’re standing shoulder to shoulder with people to hear the message of a curious man you’ve been hearing miraculous stories about.  Then you start to hear noises on the roof.  They’re not too bad at first so you ignore them.


Then they get louder…scraping…banging…grunting.  Soon little pieces of debris start to fall from the ceiling.  “What on Earth is going on up there?”


Jesus obviously knows they are up there.  He knew before the noise became audible above the crowd.  The word doesn’t tell us if he stopped his message or if he just kept going, even when the roof started to fall apart.  I imagine He kept going, undisturbed by the distraction.  I also imagine, he enjoyed the curiosity growing amongst the crowd.


The friends on the roof.  They’re tired…hot…their hands are probably bleeding and cut up.  Maybe the job is way harder than they thought it would be.  “Who’s idea was this anyway?”  “This is crazy.”


They kept going anyway.


Finish the Hard Thing


Finally, they manage a hole big enough to fit their paralytic friend, only to use their bloodied, cut up, tired hands to lower him in the hole without dropping him.


Jesus Let them Finish.


Jesus knew what they were doing on the roof.  Right?  He knew their faith in His ability.  Right?  Why did he allow them to complete the job?


Why did he let them keep at it?  Tear the homeowner’s roof up? Let their hands get bloodied and bruised and cut up?  Jesus could have stopped it as soon as He saw they were going for it.  That first ( active ) act of faith when they started putting a hole in the roof.


Jesus could have gone to them, saved the roof from being destroyed, and saved the friends from all that work.  Who knows how long it took.


But He didn’t.  Jesus let them finish the hard thing.


Jesus let them toil and work and fight to get that roof off until they broke through.


This is for you Friend!


Don’t give up.  You may be in the middle of doing something.  It’s hard work.  You’ve been putting in the time and effort every day.  You’re tired, and maybe you’re questioning if you actually heard God.  Am I doing the right thing?  This is crazy.  Did I hear God correctly?  Why is it still hard?


Don’t give up.  Just because God hasn’t miraculously broken through the last tiles of the roof – the push to the finish – doesn’t mean you’re not doing the right thing.  Keep going.


God is there.  He wants to see you break through.  Finish the hard thing.


What hard thing are you in the middle of right now?  Changing jobs?  Getting healthy?  Improving a relationship?


God knows what you’re doing.  He sees your faith.  He is there.  Break through friend.  Finish the hart thing.


I would love to pray for you and for your specific need.  Email me at  or leave a comment below.


Hello, I am so glad you are here.  My name is Jessica.

I am a wife to one, mother of two, and a child of God.  My absolute favorite thing is to be at home with my little family.

I am a working mother and blogger.  I help moms who struggle with guilt and overwhelm because of all the things they “should be” doing to Let Go and Be Present.  So, they may Enjoy Life, have Fulfillment and truly Live out Each Day with the ones they love most.

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