In John 5 there is a story of a gathering of sick people by the pool of Bethesda. There was a man there that had his condition for 38 years. Jesus makes a visit and asks him a simple question: "do you want to get well?" He begins to make excuses for his condition, he blames others, timing, everything and everyone but himself. But Jesus is merciful and his grace is ALL sufficient. And like everyone else who encountered Jesus , this man is raised up healed and was off the mat!
Then Jesus does something that surprises me. Jesus told him to take up this mat and go. That’s a bit unusual. After laying on this bed of illness for 38 years, the last thing I would want to take into my new life is this disease mat! Fact is, your mat may stay with you forever. You don’t get over everything…you endure…you look forward with hope.
When Jesus told this man to rise and take up his mat, the thing we must see is that for the very first time in 38 years, the mat did not hold him, he held the mat. The mat was no longer a platform for misery; it was a tool for ministry.
It’s in a divine moment like this that you and I begin to realize that the transitional season is coming to an end and we are about to walk into the new season. The history is still there. The pain still comes and goes. But now your test blossoms into a test-imony. Your greatest struggle may turn into your most incredible triumph!
Do YOU want to get well? I mean do you REALLY want it? It may require more changes. Isn’t it time you quit blaming everyone else for what happened to you? Isn’t it time to quit lying to yourself and start trying for yourself? Use your mat to show others what Jesus did for you.