September 23, 2008
Do You Want to Get Well?
“Pick up your mat and walk.”
John 5:11 (NIV)
Are you familiar with the story of the man on the mat found in the Gospel of John? As the story opens, we find Jesus entering
Jesus looked deep into his soul and asked, “Do you want to get well?”
“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
Have you ever felt like this invalid? Are you paralyzed by fear, despair, isolation, or self-pity? Do you believe you are the victim of unfortunate circumstances?
I lived like that invalid for over a decade. In 1986 at age 21, I was raped by a masked stranger hiding in my apartment. Before that day, I loved my life. I had just completed four years of college and graduated with honors. I had dated and become engaged to a wonderful man. I had even been voted a homecoming princess and had an amazing job waiting for me. After that day, worldly praise and blessings meant nothing. My attacker’s vile and cruel act shattered my hopes and my dreams.
After that I lived in a prison of fear and despair. Then I encountered Christ in this gospel story. The words Jesus spoke to the crippled man pierced my soul. I realized that I was the man on the mat. I enjoyed being the victim. I had become accustomed to my place of sorrow. Worse, I was comfortable there.
I came to know the truth of Hebrews 4:12: “For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” God’s Word spoke personally to me. I knew I needed to take a first step.
I surrendered my fear, my pity, and my grief, and opened my heart to God’s Word. I learned He had a plan for my life and a purpose for my pain. I knew I would never see it until I had the courage to get up and walk.
If you find yourself on a mat, will you trust me and open God’s Word? God will speak into your heart promises of hope and healing. However, before you can take that step off your mat, you must surrender your fear, self-pity, and despair. Sweet friend, God is waiting. Will you take the first step?
Dear Heavenly Father, I humbly come before You, My Creator and my Savior. I love You and thank You that You love me with an everlasting and unconditional love. Since You created me and chose me as Your own, Father, I give myself to You now, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I give you permission to come in and wash me clean. Heal me of my hurts. Take away my pain. Remove anything in my life that hinders my relationship with You. Fill me with the fullness of Your Spirit and enable me to take the first step off my mat. Show me the great plans You have for me. I ask this in the powerful name of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story by Wendy Blight (To be released February 2009 – pre order your copy today!)
His Princess, Love Letters from Your King by Sheri Rose Shepherd
List some practical steps you are going to take to make this happen. Write a prayer asking God to implement your plan.
Are you stuck on a mat? Do you find yourself giving excuses?
Is there something in your life keeping you from God’s plan? Are you willing to trust God with whatever “it” is, get off your mat, open His Word and let Him bring His hope and healing into your life?
Isaiah 41:17, “The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.” (NIV)
Psalm 40:1-2, “I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and the mire; He set my feet upon a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” (NIV)
© 2008 by Wendy Blight. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Tuesday, 23 September 2008.