“Pick up your mat and walk.”

When Jesus encountered a man who had been afflicted for 38 years, He gave him three commands: Get up; pick up your mat; and walk.

if I make a conscious, deliberate decision to get up, to obey Jesus, to do what Jesus tells me to do, my life will change. It’s a lot easier, and more comfortable sometimes, to remain where we are. To remain in the grasp of a place we don’t want to be, but don’t have the courage, or the faith, to do what Jesus tells us to do.

Like the sick man Jesus encountered, I need to make an effort to change, especially if I’m lounging on a mat of my own creation. I have to want to get well. I need to obey Jesus’ command. The man needed to take action.

Then Jesus told the man to pick up his mat. John 5:9 says, “Immediately the man became well.”

I’d be willing to wager he showed that mat to everyone he met, skipping through the streets testifying to how Jesus had healed him. His mat became his message. God used the man’s 38 years of affliction as his testimony to God’s faithfulness and powers of healing.

Finally, Jesus told the man to walk. It was finally time for him to act. Once Jesus has touched us, impacted our lives and healed us, He wants us to walk out our testimonies. To share our healing with others.

I am a victim of post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. We experienced a homicide in our home November 10, 2013. Following the murder the PTSD set in and it took several months of weekly counseling for me to work through it. When I did, I shared my story in recovery groups, church groups and with others who experienced PTSD. I walked my story out and could tell others, “I know how you feel.” Because I did. I was able to share understanding and compassion with them. And others shared their stories with me as well. We share a bond that others can’t share. But as we walk out our experience, we grow stronger and closer to the Lord. I am forever grateful for all the things God showed me as I lay on that mat.

Maybe someday I’ll write about all that.

If you missed the post, “Get up”, you can read it here.
If you missed the post, “Pick up your mat”, you can read it here.
If you’d like to read about the homicide and the source of my PTSD,  You can read the full post here.

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6 thoughts on ““Pick up your mat and walk.”

  1. Another great post, Steven! Now it is I who have learned something new about you. How terrible. I am so sorry for that loss. I hope many people will be encouraged by reading your story!

    God bless and have a wonderful weekend!

    Like

    • Tanya,
      Thank you. Yes it was horrible at the time. But God has used it to change our lives in positive, affirming ways. We have been blessed for having gone through that trauma.

      Liked by 1 person

      • There’s a lot more to that story than I wrote about there. You are encouraging me to write more posts about the ways God worked in us through it all. Thank you for encouraging me. God bless.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: “Walk.” | Daily Bread

  3. Great post. I am sorry for the struggles in your life, but am seeing how God can use even the most terrible tragedies for good.
    The struggle between trusting in the sufficiency of Jesus’ grace and the fact that we have to take up our mats and walk is an area of gray for me. When do we wait upon the Lord, and when do we get up and make the effort?
    I guess I just have to keep praying for wisdom and discernment moment by moment for this one…

    Liked by 1 person

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