All it takes is a moment with Jesus to change everything. That might sound a little too hopeful, especially if you’ve been dealing with something long-term. Daily struggles like depression, worry, and health have a way of simply weighing on us. It’s not a stretch to assume we all get weary when we wake up and face the same problems over and over. Don’t be discouraged if that’s you, because that’s me too! We’re not the first ones Jesus has come across either. In John chapter 5 Jesus met a man who had been sick for 38 years. Verses 6-8 tell us their conversation:
“When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”
This man had been sitting on a mat in the same situation for 38 years before he met Jesus. I can identify with his reaction though. It’s a lot easier to tell Jesus all the reasons we think we have to stay in our situation. If we sit in our problems they’ll only seem bigger in our minds. Let Jesus tell you to get up. Pick up your mat, girl! If we pick our problems up and start walking we’ll be making strides towards victory. You’ll still have them in your hands while you’re walking, but Jesus didn’t say leave it all behind. He said pick it up, roll it up, and carry it with you. You can be discouraged that your problems are still in your hands or you can carry them with you on your way to your miracle. Whatever you do, don’t stay stagnant. Fight for growth and progress.
I am practicing this currently in my life as a military spouse. My husband deployed quickly after we married, and it was devastating for me. I spent many weeks in sadness and soon began to see symptoms of depression in my life. One night I was crying out to God and asking him to take away the hurt of being away from my husband. I didn’t know if I could make it through the 6-month deployment alone. That’s when He said to me, “I’m going to take care of you and remind you how much I loved you before you even knew what love was.”
He didn’t take my sadness away. I still face that every day. He told me to pick up my mat, press into Him, and make strides forward. In John 4:10 He says, “If only you knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” God wants us to talk to Him about our problems, and more importantly He wants to help us! Just like the man who had been ill for so long, our situation only has lasting changes after we meet with Jesus.