If you read You Are Not Alone, you know that I had some significant struggles with questions about God and my faith. There were times I couldn’t muster the faith I knew I needed. I wanted to have faith. I wanted to trust God. But, I didn’t.
Yes, I trusted Him for my eternal salvation, but I didn’t trust Him for how my daily life was unfolding. I felt ashamed. I knew where I wanted to be – at peace and rest in His arms, not worrying about the things of daily life, because He’s got this! But I couldn’t seem to get there on my own.
I claimed, “I walk by faith and not by sight” and said it a hundred times per day some days. Reminding myself that walking by faith doesn’t mean everything works out or makes sense, yet I could trust God anyway. He has a plan. But in reality, I felt more like, “I stumble blindly.” Period. The end.
This bring me to Mark 2: 1-12. Jesus is preaching at a house and so many people come to see him there’s no more room, not even outside the door.
You’ve been there, right? An 18-year waiting list for services your child needs. A doctor or therapy that might help, but it’s too expensive and insurance doesn’t cover it. You need rest SO badly but can’t access respite services. There’s help in view, but you can’t get to it.
Back to Mark 2. A paralyzed man arrives carried on a mat by four men. He couldn’t get to Jesus on his own, so four people carried him! I don’t know how it came about, maybe he asked them to carry him or maybe he protested the whole way, “Put me down. I don’t want to be a bother. I’ll be such an inconvenience.” We don’t know.
They arrived to find the house where Jesus was filled to overflowing. Did his helpers stop there? No. They made a hole through the roof and lowered the man down right in front of Jesus. “Seeing their faith Jesus said to the paralyzed man, ‘My child, your sins are forgiven.’” Because of the religious teachers who were present and their thinking that was a blasphemous statement, Jesus went on to heal the man physically as well!
The phrase that stands out to me in this recounting is, “Seeing their faith…”. “Their,” plural, not “the man’s” or “his” faith, but “their faith”. Whether this indicates all five of them or not, I don’t know. But it does refer to more than one of them. Whether it applies to the man who was paralyzed or only to his helpers, I do not know.
What I do know is that the faith of the man’s helpers played a substantial part in the man being forgiven of his sins and physically healed. Sometimes, when our faith is weak, we need to depend on the faith of those around us. We need to let their faith carry us for a time.
Do you have faithful friends who can speak words of encouraging truth, said with grace, to you? Do you have friends around you, who, when you struggle in your faith, can pick you up on your mat and carry you where you need to go? That is what Christian community is all about! If you don’t have that or don’t have enough of that, come check out the Hope Anew Online Community and let’s walk this parenting kids with disabilities journey together!
Written by Sarah McGuire