How often do we walk away from something, yet find ourselves coming right back to it? Isn’t that just human nature, the very thing we cry release from, somehow we find comfort in the familiar and do not step beyond the zone? Jesus wants us to be free.
We see an amazing example of this in John 5, Jesus observes a man at the Pool of Bethesda. The place where the blind, lame or paralyzed would lay near the pool … waiting. Tradition states an angel would visit the pool, while stirring the water healing virtues would flow, the first in would be healed. The man Jesus saw had been coming to the waters for a very long time, he himself an invalid for 38 years. Jesus asked him, “Do you want to get well?” The man’s answer is typical. “I have no one to help me; while I am trying, someone always gets there ahead of me.” I don’t mean to be heartless, but can you hear the Eeyore tone and bit of whine in his voice?
Jesus simply says, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk!” That is exactly what the man did. At first glance, isn’t it interesting that Jesus didn’t instruct he just walk away, leave your mat? Nope. I would suggest that this man had grown so accustomed to being lame, it was familiar and that mat was comfortable and “See that corner spot right over there – THAT is my spot!” If the mat had been left, there would be something to come back to. All comforts had now been removed, the familiar no longer available. No lying down, no relapse here folks! A healed man does not need to hang out at this pool anymore. A delivered man needs to move on, leaving nothing behind. And why carry the mat? The mat was now being re-purposed. No longer a mat for waiting, but a mat for living!
God holds nothing back to free us. (Go God!) The Psalmist speaks so vividly, “When they cried to the LORD in their trouble and He saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and BROKE away their chains.” (107:13-14, emphasis mine) Please pause and consider the breaking of these chains, the word is not just a mild bend or snapping. It is a divine BURSTING! It was so destructive that the chains were torn into pieces, so much so it was un-repairable. Attempt as you may, even with biting your lip while applying super-glue, what God breaks, it is BROKEN!
Father, may we too not look for excuses with whining tones, remembering what You have healed us of, what YOU have delivered us from; we are not to attempt to go back or fix. There is nothing for us there!
In Him, DeDe “Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24