Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Stepping Into His~

I feel paralyzed.

I didn't state it as simply and as matter-of-factly as that,
but this -
this is was what my heart was trying to communicate,
without coming right on out and saying it.

Sitting at a table of ladies
who each had suffered loss in their own way,
we were sharing prayer requests.

My turn:
"Please pray I can find my direction
and my place in life."

No, this spoken prayer request didn't exactly cut to the chase,
but it's hard enough
to cut to the chase with yourself sometimes,
much less a handful of others.

"Without my husband here
to help me,
to bounce ideas off of,
to cheer me on,
and to pray for me and with me,
I feel scared (now this - this statement was raw, honest truth).
I feel like I don't have anyone to help me.
I really need for God to show me what to do and how to do it."

From the words of her prayer,
it was obvious the leader of our group
had heard so much more than my spoken request,
(Sometimes, I think we are only fooling ourselves,
but that's a whole different post for a whole different day),
and I left our time together
with a deep sense of peace.

And yet,
despite her prayer and the peace it had brought,
for the rest of that day,
and the day after that,
and the next two days after that even -
my mind was stuck on "repeat'.

Over and over I kept having a deja vu like moment.
I would see myself sitting at that table
and I would hear myself saying that one phrase:
"I feel like I don't have anyone to help me."

Then, last night,
while I was watching a Bible teaching on TV,
it all came full circle.
And in a matter of seconds,
it was as if the Holy Spirit took me
from lying on my couch
to lying by the pool of Bethesda.

Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, which in Hebrew is called Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great crowd of invalids, blind, lame, and paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water. After the stirring of the water, whoever stepped in first was healed of whatever disease he had. A certain man was there who had an infirmity for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been in that condition for a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be healed?"

The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred. But while I am coming, another steps down before me."

Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk." Immediately the man was healed, took up his bed, and walked.
~John 5:2-9

I had heard this story ever since I was a little girl,
but for the first time ever,
here I was
in the starring role.

I was the paralyzed man.

And, here was Jesus,
precious Jesus,
standing right before me,
asking me if I wanted to be healed.

Just like the paralyzed man,
instead of replying with the obvious "yes",
I heard my own words spoken at that table:
"I feel like I don't have anyone to help me."

How precious is our Lord.

To both this paralyzed man that day,
and to me last night,
no words of rebuke
or anger or
"that's not what I asked you" or
"you should have tried harder or done more".

Only words that breathe new life.

"Rise, take up your bed, and walk."

Because, unlike any one else,
Jesus understands
the crippling,
motionless,
"can't help yourself" grip of paralysis.

No doubt this man wanted to be healed.
For 38 years, (38 years!),
he had placed himself
as close as he could get
to his miracle.
Lying by the pool,
day after day,
waiting for the stirring of the water,
only to see the rippling,
than the stirring of all the other people racing to the pool,
while he was powerless to move even his big toe.

No matter how much this man wanted healing,
he physically could not
get himself up and into the water
on his own.

And, I do believe,
there are times in our life,
when we find ourselves completely unable to, too.

Fear.
Failure.
Loss.
Grief.
(and too many more to mention)

All of these can leave us
in a paralyzed condition.

All of these can leave us
feeling as though
our only hope,
our only way out,
our only escape is
through the help of someone else.

And often times,
we become so desperate
to find someone (anyone!) to help us,
we completely overlook
and totally miss
The One who is standing right in front of us.

The One who is not only near,
but who is generously and graciously
stepping right up to us and
extending His hand of help.

(Take a moment and go back a re-read this story.
The paralyzed man didn't call out to Jesus,
Jesus called out to him.)

"Do you want to be healed?"

If we do,
our healing isn't dependent 
on anything or anyone else other
than Jesus' offer
and our acceptance.

If we do,
all we need to do 
is rise.

To rise up in faith.
To rise up in His strength.
To rise up to new life in and through Him.

Notice, this man didn't waste any time
asking how
or 
trying to figure out if,
he just immediately rose to the occasion.
Healing was finally within his reach
and he wasn't about to spend one more minute
in this paralyzed condition.

Why should he?
Why would he?

Can you imagine 
if the story line read like this:
Not sure how this would all turn out,
or if it was even possible,
the paralyzed man decided 
to forgo on Jesus' offer and opted instead
to continue waiting for the stirring of the water
and for someone to come along 
and help him get there in time.

No! 
That would be crazy.
That would be so sad.
That would be such a shame.

And, for the first time in my life,
I thanked God for this story,
and oh, how I longed to be able to thank this
paralyzed man
for choosing to step into God's strength.

And I realized,
all over again -
I didn't need
my man,
or anyone else to help me.

I had my God!

Yes, sometimes the events of life
find us pulled right out of what was normal,
and plopped down
smack dab in the middle
of a season that finds us
unusually motionless,
unusually helpless,
unusually waiting on
something or someone else to help us.

It's life.
It happens.

But, praise God,
Jesus is here.

Last night,
I had absolutely no doubt
He had seen me in this place,
in this condition,
in this paralyzed season.

I could see Him generously and graciously
stepping right up to me
and I could hear Him
offering His help.

"Do you want to be healed?

And, make no mistake about it;
He sees you, too.
He is generously and graciously
stepping up to you, too, and offering you His help.

Admittedly,
I don't know how long you've been down for the count.
But, I do know this:
If a man who had been paralyzed for 38 years
can immediately 
rise, take his bed, and walk,
so can I,
and so can you.

It all comes down to this:

"Do you want to be healed?

Then,
rise, my child.
I will be the strength you need.
Let me do for you
what no one else can -
not even you.

Let Me set your life back in motion.

Let Me help you walk out your faith,
one step at at time.,
moment by moment,
day by day.

I am here.
I am all you need.

Rise, my child,
rise.









3 comments:

  1. Oh Stacy, wow, such a profound and practical post. Yes, I want to be healed, healed of my unbelief and my fears, healed of my lack of faith and sometimes hardness of heart. Jesus says, come, stand up, and be healed. Thank you for using your hurt and hard stuff to help us in ours.
    God bless precious lady
    Tracy

    ReplyDelete
  2. PS: I am adding this post to my list of favourites over at my blog. Someone there might need to read it! And, I will repost on facebook too <3

    ReplyDelete

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