It is so easy to become overwhelmed by our situation. It is so easy for the burdens of our trials, the shackles of our shortcomings, or the illusion of hopelessness to blanket us.
I have seen and experienced many amazing things with and from God. I have been touched by God in ways that changed everything….. I have felt His power. But to be honest, I still catch myself at times believing that God is not enough.
With the pain of loss, the continuous consequences of past sins crashing over me day after day, year after year, I sometimes find myself feeling defeated. I find myself suddenly feeling out of control. So tired of trying to fight the good fight that I can’t seem to summon the strength, the drive, or desire to even want to stand up again and keep going. These feelings of doubt and defeat well up in me more often than I care to admit. And when they do, I feel heavy, I feel flooded with a hopeless feeling that things won’t work out…. that I am kidding myself and I need to just give up. This morning was one of those mornings, and without asking Him for clarity, He presented me with a passage.
“Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long 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.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.” – John 5:1-9
This man was blinded by his situation. This man was consumed by his very real problems and his very real pain. I think it is safe to say we have all tasted a portion of what this man lived up until this encounter at some point in our lives.
“I have wasted my entire life, I don’t know any other way… I can’t change”, “You don’t understand how hard it is for me, there is no happy ending for me, I deserve this!”…., “I just can’t do it. I am tired of hoping, I am tired of fighting… I give up.”
The Spirit smacked me I’m the face this morning with this truth. When Jesus asks this man, “Do you want to get better”, the invalid could only reply with why he couldn’t get better. All the invalid could see was the hopelessness of his situation. All he could see was the impossibility of his healing, of change in his situation.
In all of this man’s disbelief Jesus met him. In the incredibly painful, hopeless life that this man lived, Jesus has but two words for him, “Get up!”
It doesn’t matter if we cannot see any hope in our situation. In a life broken beyond repair, Jesus doesn’t ask us to fix it, to do better, or to try harder. He simply wants us to trust Him enough to stand back up, so He can do the impossible for us.
Don’t lose heart in your situation, just stand back up and keep following Him. And when you do, I promise you, He will come through for You, probably in a way you never saw coming.
He is trustworthy, He is good and He is capable. My prayer is that every one of us will never forget that.
“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” -2 Thess 3:5
Written by: Justin Ludwig