Isaiah 40:31 Those who hope in the Lord...will walk and not be faint
When my oldest, Hannah, was a baby a fashion trend swept America from its' oldest to youngest members, the jogging suit. I would literally see senior citizens so decrepit they could barely walk, let alone jog, in these highly colorful ensembles. So of course I had to ensure my crawler had one. My husband and I immediately donned it the "walking" suit. As if aware of the "power" of the suit, the day of the initial wearing, she awkwardly struck out with her first steps. Nothing could have evoked greater delight. If those suits had the same impact on their more seasoned customers, the cane/walker business may have taken a serious economic hit.
This morning, the scripture reading is John 5:1-24. Here we find Jesus at a pool in Jerusalem where individuals with all manner of physical incapacities would lay hoping to find some relief from their suffering in the pool's water (Verses 1-4). Jesus singles out one person and boldly asks him, "Do you want to get well?" (Verses 5-6). Isn't that a rather obvious question? Wouldn't any person daily dealing with great physical torment want to be well? Clearly the invalid didn't know the power that was speaking to him because his response isn't affirmative. Instead he complains that he has no one to carry him into the water and receive relief (Verse 7). Jesus ignores his disagreeable response and gives him the key to his healing, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk."
There was a time in my life when I sat donned in my jogging suit but refused the leave my cripple's mat. I knew the key to my healing was found in daily prayer and Bible reading but I refused to pick up my mat and walk, let alone jog. One day though, I purposed to begin so I started with the gospel of John. It only took a couple of readings before I was in this very passage and heard Jesus ask the question, "Do you want to get well?". I knew with certainty that He was asking me. My resounding "Yes!" was quickly followed with, "Then get up! Pick up your mat and walk." From that day forward, I have faithfully met with God each day and received miraculous healing from all that crippled my life.
Jesus, may I never sit back down on that mat. Just as this man was surrounded by the lame, blind and paralyzed (Verse 4), I will find myself again in their company if I sit back down. Instead, you've called me to walk with You and reveal to my crippled companions the way to a life filled with hope instead of despair. You've even given me a fancy colorful suit of your love, kindness and compassion to wear while I walk.