Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.
John 5:8, NKJV
Last night, with God’s help, I made the decision to walk away from a pathway that I’d been pursuing since 2005. For fourteen years, I have been pursuing something because I thought it was the right thing to do and because I thought that it was the only way to do it.
This morning as I reflected on my fourteen-year wilderness experience, I was reminded of John 5:1-15, which documents the story of the man who was healed by the Pool of Bethesda. For 38 years, this man suffered with an infirmity. For 38 years, he was at the pool of Bethesda wating for a miracle, wating for his chance to be the first to get into the pool of Bethesda at just the right time when an angel stirred up the water and wating for someone to help him.
Like this man, I had been doing a lot of wating. I didn’t pursue this pathway as much as I had been watingto be recognized, wating to be given a chance, wating to be called by humans to do what I’d already been called to do by God.
As we know, Jesus healed people using a lot of different methods, but I am moved in a different way by the times that Jesus asks people to do something to obtain their own healing. I can’t think of any time that Jesus asked people to do anything difficult. In the case of this man, Jesus simply asked him to rise, take up his bed and walk.
I looked up all three of these words in the Greek. The words rise and take up are pretty straight forward. But, when I looked up walk, expecting the same thing, I was pleasantly surprised. The word walk in the Greek does mean walk of course, but there is a second definition = περιπατέω peripateō = walk; live.
When I saw the word live, I felt a rush of life flow back into my blood and bones. It was as though the Holy Spirit had been waiting for me to live my life instead of waiting on permission to live my life. Like this man, who had been waiting for some outside force to give him permission to breath and be, I had been holding my breath, waiting on others when God needed me to live.
At the core of living is not waiting but doing. God was asking me to do what I was called to instead of waiting for permission to do it. Looking back at the full verse, like this man, I had to take my chance at doing a God thing. In order to take my chance, I had to rise up off my bed of waiting in order to do and live.
Today, as you reflect, what have you been waiting to do that requires you to do it in order to live the life that God has called you to live?