Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

Perhaps today would be the day.  He had waited for 38 long years.  Each day he lay on his mat by the Pool of Bethesda, waiting for the waters to stir.  It had happened numerous times before.  It was said that an angel would stir the waters and each time it happened, the first one in would be healed.  There were so many people waiting.  Waiting, praying and hoping for a miracle.  Some were blind.  Some were deaf and others were paralyzed.  But they were all there wishing for a cure.
 
He had been waiting for 38 years, too sick to move and longing for not only the right timing, but for someone to take pity on him.  How he longed for someone to look at him and really see him.  Not just look in annoyance and spit at him.  He needed someone to look into his eyes and see his suffering.  To see that he was a man who wanted more than anything to be healed.  He needed help to even get into the water.  And yet, no one ever stopped.  No one looked, no one took pity and no one cared.
 
And so he waited.  Yet this day was different.  On this day a man stopped.  He looked at him.  He spoke.  "Do you want to get well?" 
 
"Of course!"  "But I have no one to help me into the pool."   His voice trembled as he spoke, hoping against all hope that this man would have pity and help him up.
 
The man's eyes pierced his soul as he said, "Get up and walk."  As soon as the man spoke, he felt something change within him.  Strength surged through him.  Health coursed through his veins.  The pain vanished.  He felt different immediately.  And without thinking, he obeyed.  He simply sat up, then stood.  He moved.  He picked up his mat.  He walked.
 
He wanted to shout and cry and laugh all at the same time.  He wanted someone to notice!  And they did.  But the first response he got was not one of amazement and joy.  It was condemnation.  It was judgment.  It was irritation.  The Pharisee who stood before him said, "Why are you carrying your mat?"  "Don't you know it's illegal to do this on the Sabbath?"  "Who is it that healed you?"
 
He did not know and could not say.  The man had disappeared almost immediately.  All he knew was that he had been shown mercy.  He had been told to get up and had been healed.
(Based on John 5:1-13)
How many times do we hear God tell us that he will do something miraculous in our lives?  All we have to do is listen and obey.  It may be as simple as get up and walk.  And yet we doubt.  We second guess what we heard.  Or we look for a sign or help from elsewhere. Can you imagine what our lives might be like if we simply listened?  What would happen if we got up, picked up our mat and walked?

What a story we could tell!  What a miracle would be shown.  And so often, nothing happens because we refuse to act. We remain in the same situation.  We repeat the same sins.  We struggle with the same issues.  Because we do not listen.  We do not obey.  We do not act.

God doesn't just want to work physical healing in our lives, but spiritual as well.  But it's up to us to hear and not just listen, but obey.  Let Him work in whatever way He wills in your life.  Let Him heal you of the hurts, the struggles, and the pain.  It doesn't matter what it is.  It doesn't matter how long you have suffered with it.  

It also does not matter who disapproves.  There are always naysayers and people who will doubt and point fingers.  There will be those who would love you to stay in your sin and struggle.  Ignore those voices.

Simply listen, get up, pick up your mat and walk today!