I was 38-years-old and I was paralyzed. My legs worked just fine, but I was paralyzed all the same. I had barely enough hope to drag myself in-range of true life, but then sat on the sidelines, only to watch others go after their dreams while I remained crippled by feelings of inadequacy and self-pity.
One day, a man took notice of me (rather than passing on by, minding His own business like everyone usually did). He somehow knew that I’d been in my condition for quite some time. “Do you want to be made well?” He asked. Looking back on it now, my answer seems so silly. A simple “Yes!” would have been appropriate, but I could only make excuses. “There’s nothing that can be done.” I thought out loud. “I have no one to help me. I just can’t seem to get the break I need. Someone else’s needs keep getting in the way. Anyway, if I don’t really try, I won’t fail.”
The man’s eyes burned straight through to my heart and I felt exposed—completely unraveled. His look was serious—commanding, but still kind, with an undercurrent of sadness over my willingness to believe such lies. My feeble excuses echoed in my mind and I saw them for what they really were. I saw my fear—ugly, black and debilitating. I realized it was not circumstance, nor lack of opportunity that paralyzed me—it was fear. I began to feel a warm, tingling sensation of energy radiate through my core. “Rise, take up your bed and walk,” said the man.
Immediately, the fear dissolved. I got up and rose to the challenge before me. I embraced hope. I was charged and ready to fight for my dreams, rather than waiting for them to be delivered into my lap. I realized that the hopeless lie of this world—you made your bed, now lie in it—had been overturned by a new, hopeful directive: “Get out of bed and walk. Follow Me.” My broken-heart was bound, my spirit renewed. I knew that all things were possible as long as I waited not on man, but put one foot in front of the other alongside Christ.
Jesus made Himself known to me. He sought me out again that day, saying, “Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” I knew this was not a condemnation, but an offer of freedom. Fear would still lurk and bait and chase, but I could choose to stick close the man who healed me, the man for whom darkness was no match.
I couldn’t wait to tell anyone who would listen, that it was Jesus who had made me well. I would no longer lie helpless and hopeless in the lie, but walk victoriously in the light, with my Light.
~ Based on John 5:1-15 A Man Healed at the Pool of Bethesda