Content to just lay there?

I am going to ask a tough question today, but if we are truthful on this one, we may just realize a healing at the end. How long are we willing to live WITH our troubles before we ask God to get us out of those troubles? For some of us, it has taken us a long, long time to come to our knees, admitting we have been dealing with this 'trouble' longer than we ever should have. Trouble in the form of bitterness, anger issues, hurt feelings, or attitudes of deep regret and shame. While we are living WITH these 'troubles' we are 'hoping' for something to be different, but we don't really come out and aggressively seek our deliverance from them! It is time to admit we have been living 'with' them for way too long and we need God's help to finally move us from our 'placement' INSIDE those troubles.

Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! (John 5:2-9)

"I can't" are two words Jesus can deal with, but until we utter the ones that admit we actually want our healing, we aren't really ready for it! We might not be able to get ourselves from our 'placement' inside the trouble, but Jesus doesn't even need to change our 'placement' to begin the healing. He just needs to hear that we know we 'cannot' and he 'can'. Notice that the man was still on his mat beside the waters of Bethesda when Jesus asked him if he desired his healing. He had to admit he had no one to carry him to the water, but that didn't stop Jesus. Jesus told him to get up 'from where he was' and be healed. I think we might somehow believe our deliverance from the troubles we have endured for so long will require us to 'move' from here to there. Jesus just asks us to get up!

Too many of us stay right where we are, INSIDE the trouble we have endured a long time, making all kinds of excuses for why we cannot move FROM there. For this man, he remained paralyzed on his mat, beside the pool, with no one to carry him from here to there. For us, it could just be that we have lived with all this anger, bitterness, or feelings of deep hurt all because we think we have 'no one' to move us from here to there. The truth is that the 'one' who needs to move is us and we just haven't moved from being 'flat on our backs' to our knees in humble acknowledgement of our deep need. We just lay around in our 'self-pity', never realizing our healing is right there in front of us.

If we want our deliverance from INSIDE that troubling stuff today, we might just need to confess our need and stop making all the excuses for why we cannot be healed. Jesus gave some very specific actions the man needed to take - 'admit you need healing', 'get up', 'pick up your mat', and 'walk'. Our healing begins with confession - not the list of excuses. Our next actions should reveal we desire the change more than anything else in the world - get up and walk! We may have weak or wobbly steps at first, but when we finally move from our back to our knees, we may just be surprised at just how 'strong' that position make us! Just sayin!

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