November 15, 2021
The idea of borrowing faith seemed unlikely for me before I had to actually draw on the reserves of others in order to move forward. My understanding was that faith is an individual thing. It was personal. I didn’t think that we could borrow faith or stand on the belief of others. However, I am a living testimony to the reality that this is part of growing in faith.
Recently, my family lost my father-in-law suddenly and tragically. There aren’t enough words to describe the overwhelming hurricane of emotions, tasks, and revelations that we are now facing. In a moment we had to organize, downsize, off-load, and make choices for my mother-in-law who was no longer able to live in her home of almost 16 years. In a single moment, our lives were forever changed.
My husband and I were numb with disbelief.
Mom would be coming to live with us…effective immediately. Permanently.
“In times of crisis, faith is not generally a stockpiled possession. For me, I didn’t have the reserves to draw on, and needed to borrow great sums from others to weather the storm.” – Deborah Dean Murphy
This quote from Deborah Murphy accurately describes what I didn’t even know I could do, or that I needed it. I didn’t know how I was going to care for my mother-in-law. I didn’t know how to deal with my own toxic emotions and still be loving and supportive to my husband and kids. As soon as we got home I found myself drowning in “what ifs” and “how on earth is this going to work?”
I didn’t have the vision or the faith to believe for blessing. If I thought too long about what had just happened and what that meant for my future I spiraled into a rage. I was stumbling through grief without any kind of footing that felt firm.
“Sometimes when you can’t find your footing with your own faith, you just have to go stand on some else’s for a while.” – Lysa Tterkeurst
There is a bible story that is similar where a man had grown hopeless to ever receive healing. However, he had friends that heard about Jesus and believed on behalf of their friend for his healing. The story is found in Mark 2:3-5, 11-12.
Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, 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 by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:3-5 NIV
“I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” Mark 2:11-12 NIV
If you notice in verse 5 says, “Jesus saw THEIR faith”. Jesus healed the paralyzed man on the faith of his friends. It doesn’t mention whether or not the man had any faith. Likely, his faith had diminished or become so apathetic that he had fully accepted his lot in life. However, his borrowed faith made him whole. This story reminded me why we need faith-filled friends.
This is when I called a friend of my own. She is a dynamite woman of God and has experienced her own tragic losses and grief. I asked if she could take a walk with me? I off-loaded how I was feeling as we strolled in the sun. She listened patiently. As we came home she did something so unexpected. She spoke a word of encouragement and bolstered my faith with her own.
She said, “I see this as an opportunity for God to show off. What the enemy meant for evil God has entrusted to you and your family because you desire to honor and bring glory to God. As you all heal, process, and begin to weave a new testimony I am confident this story is going to become HIS-story!” She laughed with such excitement I couldn’t help but hold onto a fragment of it for myself. I borrowed a bit of her faith.
This wasn’t the only moment where God sent friends and family to bolster my faith. I have had countless people helping me believe for blessings when I couldn’t believe it myself.
If you are facing an impossible situation, can I recommend borrowing faith? Call a friend who you know trusts in Jesus and ask them to pray with you. Reach out to a pastor or priest that can help you keep walking through the valley. If you need to…borrow mine. Even though I am far from coming through this storm I am seeing God faithfully working. I am not alone. He wasn’t caught off-guard by this situation and He is capable of weaving beauty from the ashes of loss.
It’s ok when we find ourselves in a season of doubt to borrow faith from others. It can help us reframe our circumstances. It can help us believe for miracles and breakthroughs. I pray that you never have to borrow faith, but if you do, I hope you run to the friends that you know would lower you through the roof to the feet of Jesus.