(thoughts from July 23, 2022)
Morning time with my Lord had been put on the back burner. The past few months had been brutal and all I wanted to do was sleep in and avoid. Hide from the anxiety and fear that had become my life. I had become unwell (mentally, emotionally, and little did I know at the time physically). Begrudgingly, I got up because a final class assignment deadline loomed.
I grabbed my phone to head out to the coffee shop so I could focus and saw on the screen six words that rocked me.
Jesus said to him, “Do you want to be well?”
(My YouVersion’s daily verse notification)
Instantly, an old sermon and scripture came to mind (The Pool of Bethesda where a great number of disabled people used to lie) so I read John 5:5-9 (NIV Translation))
5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
7 “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.”
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
What stuck out to me in these four verses:
1. Jesus knew the man had been unwell for 38 years (vs 5-6). God sees you and knows what you’ve been through. He knows it all and while we may not understand it, he is never, I repeat, never late.
2. The man was clouded by “yes, but” excuses (vs 7). This makes me wonder how much of the man's thought life and perspective played into his long-standing dilemma. What "yes, but" excuses am I listening to, or what perspective am I viewing my situation through that could be keeping me in a stalling pattern and away from experiencing God's best?
3. “Get up, pick up your mat, and walk” is one complete thought and statement from Jesus, not three (vs 8). What if our “get up” is to “pick up our mat” and the faith produced from that one faith action leads to walking (more faith and becoming well)?
What if God is saying “I am right here (believe and remember that), pick up your mat (take a specific action through faith), and watch me work (watch what I can and will do through faith in action)?
4. Context is key (vs 1-9). “Get up.” My old self-condemning thoughts would have stopped right here, automatically going straight to condemnation while my perfectionistic inner bully projected a Jesus that would yell ‘why can’t you just get up already?’. My friends, that is not who Jesus is. A kingdom perspective and context always reveal the real Jesus.
Jesus is the:
the Bread of Life (John 6:35)
the Light of the World (John 8:12)
the Door (John 10:9)
the Good Shepherd (John 10:11,14)
the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25)
the Way and the Truth and the Life (John 14:6)
the Vine (John 15:
I want to be well! Do you?
What does it look like to pick up your mat today?
Is your wellness desire physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual?
Remember, Jesus knows you. He sees you. His timing is absolutely perfect, and e is the God of grace!