“You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward –
just take the next step.” –unknown
The Healing at the Pool
Here a great number of disabled people used to lie – the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 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?”
“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.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. –John 5:3-9 NIV
We all have our mats don’t we? Fears, insecurities, control, disobedience, selfishness – things that hold me back and cripple me.
Jesus sees the man at the well and asks him, “Do you want to get well?” I’m struck how Jesus didn’t just heal him – He certainly could have.
Instead of answering, the man complains – “Sir, I have no one to help me get into the pool when the water is stirred. While I’m trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
Jesus ignores his excuses and tells him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk!”
The man in the story was an invalid for thirty-eight years. His life was predictable, familiar, if not fun. Suddenly, there are new challenges and expectations – he can no longer sit by the pool and rely on the charity of others.
Jesus calls to me now as He did then – “Pick up your mat and walk”. All too often I make excuses and whine about why I can’t. I prefer the comfort of the mat to the unknown and discomfort of what happens after I walk.
To follow Jesus, I must leave the safety of my comfort zone and walk wherever He leads.
• “Follow Me”
• “Love your enemies”
• “Go the second mile”
• “Judge not”
• “Do Unto Others”
• “Make Disciples of all Nations”
In his book, Unfinished, Richard Stearns says this, “Many of our churches are no longer the boot camps established to equip us for battle; they’re spiritual spas designed to enhance our well being and give us a glow at the beginning of the week.
We sing a few songs, shake a few hands, and listen to a pleasant homily. The call of Jesus to lay down our lives, take up our crosses and share in His suffering seldom echos from our pulpits.
We, as followers of Jesus Christ, have failed to do this one thing He commanded us to do. We have failed to obey Christ’s commands to live radically different lives, to build and establish the kingdom of God, to make disciples of all nations and to demonstrate His love to a hurting world.”
When I choose to leave the mat, Jesus takes those first, stumbling steps with me. I don’t have to figure it all out or have all the answers. He simply asks I take small steps of obedience, covered by grace.
What keeps you from moving forward?