Some men brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus so He could help him walk again. They carried him on a mat and when they realized they couldn’t make their way through the crowds, because there were so many people surrounding Jesus, they went to the roof of the house He was teaching in and dug a hole to lower Him down. That’s the kind of friends we all want and need to have, right?
Do you have a friend or two who are willing to do whatever it takes to carry you and get you to Jesus? Friends who will be there no matter what time of day or night? Friends who love you in spite of you? Who are unmoved by you? I believe with all my heart those are the kind of friends God means for us to have and be to one another. I also believe that kind of friend comes through prayer rather than preferential selection. God knows the heart of man best and therefore can know what one needs in a friend. Only a certain, small group of people have been crafted to carry you, so it is wise to pray for a path to be carved out for the two, or three or four of you to connect. He will certainly cause it to happen.
And don't miss this, right before he speaks to the one paralyzed, the Bible says, "Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man,..." There are times when all you have is the faith of your friend(s) and that will be enough! I know He will because I get to live that truth out, daily!
I am so blessed to have many friendships I love and cherish but I do have a very close inner circle and an even closer single friendship. She is the one who is completely unaffected by me. She is the one I prayed for. It was a couple of months after we connected that we learned we actually prayed for one another. Months prior to us connecting, she had been praying for a friend she could go deeper in the Lord with and I had been praying for a godly woman who was older and could be my mentor and friend, who I would give permission to speak truth into my life. He answered beyond our wildest dreams. Except for directed times by God, we talk every day and literally do life together. When she and I connected, I had just lost my third child and she had just had her first baby girl who was 6 months old. She now has two incredible children who know me as auntie. My friend really allows me to obsess over them and claim them as my own! :-)
She certainly carried me to Jesus, daily, for nearly 10 years as I walked through the center of hell in dark times of grief, depression and the near destruction of my marriage. I now get to carry her through a very dark and difficult time as God works out His glory in and through her life. And let me assure you, on both sides all we had was the faith of the other in the moment we were at our most broken and Jesus let that be enough! It has been the kind of friendship I would have never been capable of asking for, as I would not have known what to ask. God knew precisely what I needed in a friend.
That kind of friendship comes through prayer and needs to be continuously bathed in prayer. These men who carried their friend to Jesus, did whatever it took to get him before the One who could heal him and help him walk again. They had in mind a physical healing. All they wanted was for their friend to walk again. Jesus had in mind a spiritual healing. All He wanted was for His child to be saved.
You may be carrying your friend in prayer for healing from all kinds of physical ailments - cancer, diabetes, paralysis, broken bones, mental illness, heartbreak…the list goes on forever! Know this, He or she will certainly be healed! All of us who believe in Jesus will be completely healed the day we stand before our Savior! But, have you ever thought to ask Christ to heal their heart from sin - unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, disappointment, lust, idolatry and certainly for salvation?
What if we began to carry our friend in prayer for his/her heart to the One who can forgive, and let Jesus worry about whether or not He will physically heal him/her? Are we willing to sacrifice for salvation as much as we are for physical healing?
My friend Lois and I have learned to carry one another and do whatever it takes to drop one another at the feet of Jesus and ask for heart healing rather than physical healing. And every time we get to hear, “My child, your sins are forgiven!” And sometimes, when my healing is for the sake of His glory being revealed to others, I will hear, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”
Father, lead my heart to be way more concerned for soul healing and trust you with when and how for physical healing of those I love!