A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:1-5
Some men came to Jesus bearing their friend, and were so desperate to get their broken friend to Jesus, they dug through the roof of the house he was staying in. Just think about that for a moment. They dug a hole in the roof to get their friend to Jesus. They simply refused to let anything get between them and Jesus. It seems that this really isn’t a story about the paralytic, but a statement about what faith looks like.
So, what does faith look like? In my life, and in yours? Today, my faith trembles and flickers in the face of winds of life that blow against my soul. I wonder how I got here. Did I just wander here, on my own? Just a few months ago I could trace the faith markers that led me to this place, but now it feels like I’m alone in the wilderness. I can hear my internal accuser whisper, “who did you think you were?” and I wonder.
A few years ago, I stepped out into the full time work world for the first time in almost 20 years. Since then, I have been catapulted into positions and work that matters. Work that I care deeply about. This journey has felt more like a rocket ride than a slow journey through the desert. Every decision, every plan, every interaction has required me to lean hard into the One who brought me here, and He has been faithful. So. Very. Faithful. I have found my footing, confidence, and practical success.
And now, I face challenges that grind against my soul. I am scared. Really scared. I want to quit, to find something else to do. I can’t envision a way forward. I feel paralyzed. I feel like a failure. I feel lost and alone, and completely powerless.
So, what does my faith look like here?
It looks like honesty… Lord, I am afraid to fail.
It looks like anger… Lord, why don’t you do something?
It looks like fear… Lord, will you leave me?
It looks like humility… Lord, I don’t know what to do.
It looks like frustration… Lord, do you see me?
And so I share my burdened heart. I gather up flecks of courage from conversations, from the scriptures, from the stillness of my prayer time, and I keep moving forward. I show up. I face the wind, and I just keep walking. My Jesus is right up ahead and I don’t want to miss Him.