Today, my contemplation comes from the Book of Acts Chapter 20. In this chapter is a story about a man named Eutychus which also means “Lucky” or “Fortunate”.
According to https://www.behindthename.com/name/eutychus, it is the Latinized form of the Greek name Ευτυχος (Eutychos), which was derived from Greek ευτυχης (eutyches)“fortunate”. The word was formed of the elementsευ (eu) “good” and τυχη (tyche)“chance, luck, fortune”. In the New Testament this is the name of a young man who went to sleep while Paul was preaching and fell from the third story of the building. He was believed to be dead, but later turned out to be alive.
Lets read this section of the book of Acts:
7 Now on the first day of the week (Sunday), when we were gathered together to break bread (share communion), Paul began talking with them, intending to leave the next day; and he kept on with his message until midnight. 8 Now there were many lamps in the upper room where we were assembled, 9 and there was a young man named Eutychus (“Lucky”) sitting on the window sill. He was sinking into a deep sleep, and as Paul [a]kept on talking longer and longer, he was completely overcome by sleep and fell down from the third story; and he was picked up dead. 10 But Paul went down and threw himself on him and embraced him, and said [to those standing around him], “Do not be troubled, because [b]he is alive.” 11 When Paul had gone back upstairs and had broken the bread and eaten, he talked [informally and confidentially] with them for a long time—until daybreak [in fact]—and then he left. 12 They took the boy [Eutychus] home alive, and were greatly comforted and encouraged.
When I read this story, I thought that it’s amazing how God used Apostle Paul to demonstrate His compassion for his people. Eutychus was literally “Lucky” to be alive after having fallen from the third story window sill just because he had fallen asleep. I’m sure he was having a difficult time trying to remain attentive.
I know that when I was in university, sometimes I struggled to remain attentive in some of the seminars I had to attend because I was experiencing so much spiritual warfare that I remember one time I slept throughout an entire lecture completely missing the whole thing! Luckily, I had really good friends with me that had taken good notes and the lecturer didn’t scold me for falling asleep in his class. Rather, he was concerned and wondered if I was “Ok”. I couldn’t explain to him that I had difficulty during that time sleeping and was going through some seriously intense spiritual warfare. I just claimed that I was “Ok” and he let it go. In someways, I felt like I was Eutychus in that I experienced the same level of grace that he had received from Apostle Paul through this lecturer that showed compassion. In the case of Eutychus, however, the compassion that he was given by Apostle Paul was the gift of revival. I get the feeling that Eutychus may have had a narcolepsy issue for him to have fallen asleep like that, but this is just my assumption, so don’t take what I’m saying as fact.
I remember when I was an examination invigilator at my university for persons with disabilities, there was this one student that suffered from narcolepsy. To understand what Narcolepsy is, read the following description below.
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterized by excessive sleepiness, sleep paralysis, hallucinations, and in some cases episodes of cataplexy (partial or total loss of muscle control, often triggered by a strong emotion such as laughter). Narcolepsy occurs equally in men and women and is thought to affect roughly 1 in 2,000 people. The symptoms appear in childhood or adolescence, but many people have symptoms of narcolepsy for years before getting a proper diagnosis.
People with narcolepsy feel very sleepy during the day and may involuntarily fall asleep during normal activities. In narcolepsy, the normal boundary between awake and asleep is blurred, so characteristics of sleeping can occur while a person is awake. For example, cataplexy is the muscle paralysis of REM sleep occurring during waking hours. It causes sudden loss of muscle tone that leads to a slack jaw, or weakness of the arms, legs, or trunk. People with narcolepsy can also experience dream-like hallucinations and paralysis as they are falling asleep or waking up, as well as disrupted nighttime sleep and vivid nightmares.
Because of the nature of this student’s disability, this particular student had to take his exams in a separate room outside the lecture hall where he was given more time to finish the exam due to the nature of his disability as an accommodation of fairness. What would have been an hour exam for most of us students, it would have taken him approximately 6-9 hours to finish because of his narcoleptic disability.
Fortunately, my university had the facilities to accommodate students who experienced various disabilities in order to write their exams and I as an invigilator witnessed various kinds of people that we would accommodate. Some needed to be in a dark room in order to write their exams, some would hear voices and needed more time to write an exam, some had difficultly processing information at a normal pace and needed more time to write an exam and some had physical disabilities that required an adjusted amount of time to finish their exams. I think that God gave me the grace to do this student job in order to build some sense of compassion when dealing with students with various types of disabilities. I ended up being one of the most favored invigilators to these students that I was given the most hours to assist these students to complete their exams because they would often request my boss to have me be their invigilator by popular demand.
This student job taught me that we need to have a high level of compassion when dealing with people. If Apostle Paul could revive Eutychus who had died from falling down a 3 story window out of compassion, wouldn’t it be awesome if we could demonstrate that level of power and compassion towards the people around us? Although, this story is such a short chapter in the Bible, I think that we cannot understate the miraculous encounter that Eutychus had experienced with Apostle Paul. He could have been left for dead and been ignored, but the Lord used Apostle Paul to revive this young man that had tried to pay attention to the Word of God as the Apostle was preaching. Our God is a merciful and compassionate Father that doesn’t overlook those that are seeking His face with all their strength and due diligence.
So the main message today is that, we should seek to allow God to use us to demonstrate His compassion for His people when we allow ourselves to be used by the Holy Spirit to perform such wonders as a demonstration of God’s love for His people. Being a hand that extends to a person in need is a demonstration of God’s love for His people. God looks for willing vessels to dispense His anointing and power to demonstrate His love for His people through our actions. People want the anointing, but do they have the heart to love God’s people? Don’t seek power or spiritual gifts with wrong motivations if you have no intention of being a representation of God’s love for His people. He will dispense His anointing on those that He trusts to follow His will and love His people in the way that Jesus loves all of us. Think about this today and seek to be the hands and feet of Jesus, doing good wherever you go, Amen!
There is a song by Hillsongs called Passion that I want to post today to bless your spirit. I pray that it ministers to you today. God Bless You Everybody! 😀