Get Up, Pick Up Your Mat, and Walk

Dear Self,

Pain is real. No minimizing, trivializing, nor denying it. There is a time to weep. Tears need to be shed, feelings released, reality faced square. But it is not healthy to make an altar of pain. Ask God. Nag God. Talk to God. He can take the gut authenticity of your feelings. No condemnation. Just compassion and love, a shoulder to cry on. A listening ear that will never tire. Run to Him. He is Abba Daddy after all, the perfect person to run to.

Time comes to uncurl from the fetal position. It will be time to move on.

John 5:8
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”

Jesus said this to the man who was invalid for thirty-eight years, unable to walk. In that incident, Jesus asked him, “Do you want to get well?” Seems like a no-brainer but Jesus asked it. Perhaps to allow the man to figure out he wants help, to know that he has an option not to remain an invalid, to give a thought that Jesus might be able to do something about his condition? In response to the question, instead of a simple yes:

John 5:7 “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.”

The invalid cited the valid reasons of why he may not have thought of getting well the same way that you and I might be citing our valid reasonings and feelings. Sometimes, citing one’s valid feelings over and over even just in one’s own head can become habitual and become a twisted comfort zone that can render one unable to move on, just like an invalid.

John 5:8 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.

With God, all things are possible. With God, we are not limited to our past nor abilities. God is the God of Healing and there is no wound He cannot heal.

John 5:14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”

The invalid was described for his physical handicap. But Jesus (as He often does) referred to his spiritual condition of being a sinner. Jesus always goes to the root. What good is getting well from a handicap or illness if one proceeds to go to eternal hell afterwards? What is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal. The things that we feel we need to be healed from are just on the surface. The most important matter that needs to be constantly healed is our spiritual condition. Pride that makes a god out of self-importance that offense can not be forgotten, self-absorption that thinks everything revolves around oneself that it’s all about me (forgetting that it’s all about God), unforgiveness, anger, disobedience to the command of not dwelling on the past, jealousy, etc.

Dear Lord,
Yes, I want to get well. Heal me. Please enable me by the power of Your almighty Spirit to get up, pick up my mat, and walk. Help me to move on and sin no more in Jesus’s name amen.

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