“Jesus sees you. This Bethesda of your life? Others avoid you because of it. Jesus walks toward you in the midst of it. He has a new version of you waiting to happen.”- Max Lucado
“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 5:8-9 (NLT)
Max Lucado concludes Chapter 4 of Never Alone with the observation that life feels stuck when you make little no progress. Therefore, you feel stuck when:
- you battle the same discouragement you faced years ago
- continue to struggle with the same fears
- wake up to the same hang-ups and habits
- Bethesda serves as your permanent mailing address
- feel like everyone reaches the pool before you do and no one wants to help you
However, Pastor Lucado stresses, Jesus offers you the same encouragement he offered the man at the Bethesda pool:
- Stand up. In other words, do something – take action. Get radical. But first, stand up!
- Pick up your mat. Break cleanly with your past.
- Walk. After you lace up your boots, hit the trail. As you begin your hike, set your sights on a new direction. Above all, Max underscores, “Getting unstuck means getting excited about getting out.”
Certainly, Jesus gave a bright future to Barbara Snyder in 1981. A gymnast back in high school, Barbara hadn’t walked in seven years. Sixteen years later, Barbara was confined to a hospital bed and given six months to live.
But, on Pentecost Sunday 1981 Barbara’s aunt read her letters of prayer support from Moody Bible radio listeners. Suddenly, Barbara heard a man’s voice tell her to get up and walk. Only no man was in the room.
However, Barbara believed God spoke to her. With her family present, she jumped out of bed and removed her oxygen. That night, she attended church.
In conclusion, Max explains:
“God’s help, while ever present, is ever specific. It is not ours to say what God will do. Our job is to believe he will do something. It simply falls to us to stand up, take up, and walk>”
Today’s question: How would you describe this Bethesda in your life? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “More spunk, more grit – or no spark?”