There he was. Lounging on his mat. Waiting for his time. Waiting for his day. Waiting for someone to help him. He’d been coming to the pool now for 38 years. Waiting. No one sat in his spot. Lounging in the same place for 38 years earned him a reserved patch of ground. Countless hopefuls shuffled past him year after year seeking the pool’s healing waters. But no one healed the sick man.
Then Jesus came. The Master asked the man a simple question. “Do you want to get well?” All the sick man would do, however, was offer up excuses. Jesus didn’t take him to the pool. Jesus didn’t touch him. Jesus didn’t pity him.
Jesus gave him a command: “Get up“.
If the man was going to experiencing Jesus’ healing miracle, he needed to make a decision. He needed to make the effort to change. He needed to obey Jesus’ command. The man needed to take action.
I’ve found myself in that same dismal place on that same dismal mat more than I care to admit. Faced with an uncomfortable dilemma, or wallowing in self-pity, or lounging in disobedience, or needing to make a life change, I hesitated to move. Living on the mat sucks life out of me. But that stagnant place has grown comfortable. It’s familiar.
I’ve heard from Jesus. He wants me to change. He’s said to me: “Get up.” But I have to be willing to change.
My life won’t get any better lying on my mat, waiting for someone else to help me improve my life. Waiting for the situation to change itself. If I never get up nothing will change. After time, I begin feeling like a victim instead of a victor.
But if I make a decision to get up, to obey what Jesus tells me, my life will change. I can pick up my mat and walk.
Have you ever lounged too long on your own mat? Have you ever found yourself in a bad place but, like me so often, lacked the conviction or the courage to “get up”? If you have, would you be willing to share your “mat” experience with me? We gain transparency and enjoy the fellowship of the community of believes when we do.