And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.
The attitude of these men was that they had to try. They had to at least go and bring their friend to Jesus and see if something might happen. They didn’t stay home imagining all the obstacles or thinking up the ways their plan could fail. They didn’t assume they’d be turned aside or that they wouldn’t be able to get to Jesus. No, they went out and took action. And as it turned out, they did face obstacles. A crowd blocked their path. But that didn’t stop them. They were determined, and they were willing to exhaust all of their options before turning around and going back home.
That’s the kind of faith that Jesus responded to. He saw the faith of the friends who had gone to such lengths to bring this man on his bed and lay him down at Jesus’ feet. He saw their perseverance, their desire, their determination. And they’d gone to such effort because they knew that Jesus could make a difference. And what a difference He made, healing the man physically and spiritually.
So what about us? What do our actions say about our faith? Are we out there taking action, doing what we can, seeing things through to the end, or have we given up hope before even setting out on the journey? Things don’t always work out how we plan, and there’s no guarantee that things work out at all, but will we at least be willing to try? Will we at least go? Will we at least ask? Will we do what we can and trust God for the outcome?
So often the first step is the hardest. We can imagine all kinds of reasons why we can’t or shouldn’t. We can come up with plenty of “what if?” scenarios that can hinder us from doing things. We can give up at the first sign of a challenge. But may we simply have faith to take it one step at a time, one challenge at a time, seeking God all the while. May we be inspired by the example of these men to persevere, to be willing to take the risk, and in the end, we’ll find our faith will be rewarded.