Tonight our family was reading the story of the four men who carried their sick friend to be healed of Jesus. They carried this sick man on his bed between them to the house, but it was so crowded they had no way to get him through the doorway to the Savior.
Undaunted, they took an unconventional approach and headed to the roof. They got their friend up on the roof, removed some roof tiles and lowered him into the house. This account is recorded in Luke 5:17-20 and Mark 2:1-5.
We talked a bit about why this account was recorded in the scriptures. What is the significance? Suddenly it dawned on me, maybe the significance is the sick man's friends. They all obviously had a great love for this man, they wanted him to be healed. They had faith in the power of the Savior to do just that. They took their friend all the way. All the way! They carried him. They then somehow got him up on the roof! How much effort did that take?
Did the friend actually believe? We don't know. It says, "When Jesus saw their faith..." He then forgave the man's sins and he was healed.
Have there been times in your life where you don't know how you made it through? Then you look back and realize that you had the strength of good, wonderful, believing friends who carried you to the Savior's feet, because you couldn't get there yourself.
I have those friends.
A dear friend in college cared enough about me, to let me know that the path I was on was wrong. I knew it, but didn't want to admit it. She called me out on it. It sent me to the feet of my Savior.
I have friends who loved and supported me when my husband was very ill and I couldn't always handle the day to day tasks and bills completely on my own. Their support and faith took me often to the feet of my Savior, in complete thanks.
I have friends who I know spend time on their knees at the feet of the Savior in my behalf when I am struggling.
We cannot underestimate the power of the faith of friends. It is there to sustain us, carry us, put us on the right path. The path that puts us at His feet.
We also cannot underestimate the power in being that kind of friend. We are to be the Lord's hands and feet. We are to reach out to those whose hands are hanging down. We are to get ourselves over to those who need us. We are to use the healing words He directs us to speak.
Why did Jesus set that example? Because He wanted us to follow it to the best of our human ability. And when we do, He makes our efforts perfect. Sometimes it doesn't feel that way or look that way with our finite minds. But we cannot see His infinite plan and how all the pieces fit together.
So my friends, thank you! This week, I am going to try harder to be that friend of faith, and I hope you will too.