I remember the very first time I heard the phrase, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk,” it was at a church service. It was right after I became a Christian. My understanding of it was so limited that I associated the command to be in the literal sense of picking up an actual bed and walking with it. 🙂 Now if you laughed, that’s cool because I am laughing at myself now too! 🙂
Now that I am older [matured in the faith] I realize it’s a figure of speech that mean different things to each one of us, depending on where we are in terms of our spiritual life or the situation or challenge that we are currently faced with.
THE HEALING AT THE POOL
By the recalls of the synoptic gospel of John chapter 5: 1-9, the story is recorded that in the city of Jerusalem, there was a pool called Bethesda. Here a great number of people used to lie – [the blind, lame, paralyzed] These are mentioned most because being the least able to help themselves, they would lie the closest and wait the longest time at the pool.
At a specific season an angel came and “troubled” the water, thereby stirring it to release all of its miraculous healing virtue [power] so that many were healed.
There was however, a particular man who had been an invalid for thirty-eight. The bible says when Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in that condition for that great length of 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.” (John 5:6-8 NIV)
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
This story brings a sad reminder of the current state of the world we live in – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. When it is narrowed down to our personal lives, rather than taking responsibility for ourselves and the role we must play in bringing about the desired change/s in our lives, like the man in the story did, we are quick to blame others.
We make dumb excuses. We look to others for handouts and for them to attend to our needs.
I do believe that if we are really honest with ourselves, all of us, whatever difficulty we are faced with, individually or corporately, we genuinely desire change – healing for the sick, a better paying job, promotion, bills/mortgage paid off, deliverance from poverty and lack of finances, addiction to pornography, drugs and alcohol, depression, domestic abuse and violence, terrorism and crime, senseless murders, just to mention a few.
No doubt, when Jesus comes to us with the same question, “Do you want to get well?” our first reaction or response would be a resounding, “YES!” Later on however when we realize that there is a process and a cost to being made whole we are not quick to respond.
To make matters worst, we remember why we had the mat/bed in the first place so we roll it back out and go back to lay down and nurse wounds of the past, disappointment and hurts, while some too overwhelmed with the challenges, fall off to sleep wallowing in self pity.
In 2011 just before I started this blog, I became very discouraged [again] in the work of the ministry [rejection, disappointments, church hurt…] and I left the church and went to my bed. That was a huge blow for me. I was heart broken, more like, devastated! God had spoken to me and revealed many things He planned for my life and when they didn’t happen in the time I thought, I dropped everything and wanted nothing to do with the church or ministry. What made it worst for me was that I resisted the process of Him molding me into ministry and Him cultivating my gifts and talents. I did not want anything to do with the process. I thought it was just too painful. But then in January 2012, I gave birth to this blog.
The journey of life is not always going to be easy. There are potholes, speed bumps, mountains and hurdles to get over, valleys to go through and detours you would end up having to take. But the decision should never be one where we stop walking.
A CALL TO ACTION – GET UP! PICK UP YOUR BED AND WALK
The call to action means having faith and trust in God and getting rid of every dead weight and hindrances that are besetting us and preventing us from walking and embracing God’s gifts and callings for us.
- Inwardly die to self – outwardly the mat would always tempt us as the easiest thing to do but inwardly, we must die to self. What God has called us to is far bigger and greater than what we can handle. We must trust God to work out His plan.
- Get rid of your excuses – if God called you to it, trust Him to bring you through it. He will equip you and give you the strength you need to get the job done.
- Never get yourself bogged down with religion and tradition. Eventually they become strongholds that’s even harder to get rid of. Have faith in God.
- Leave behind old perceptions and deceptions. The enemy would rather not see the plan of God fulfilled in your life.
- Get rid of habits and attitudes that are self-serving and is out of alignment with the will and plan of God.
- Disconnect from your old passe’ [tribe], your old culture, and even family members so that you push for what you believe [values and morals]
- Get up and do something productive that will allow you to put your gifts and talents to good use.
It is my prayer that this message of faith and hope have inspired you to have a different outlook on life. Let us help our brothers and sisters to wake up, pick up, and walk!
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