Jesus said to him, "Get up, pick up your pallet and walk."
I had no intention of writing a devotional today, nor did I plan to share a part of my testimony. I was planning to create a flyer about the upcoming life coaching/workshop session, Applying Godliness.
I sat at my desk about an hour ago and began writing. There is something beautiful when God’s plans become your plans.
It was one of the most difficult times in my life. When my marriage went from happily ever after to a nightmare. I prayed day and night to God about what I should do. It became very clear that God desired for me to stay in my marriage. I kept hearing Him telling me to “stand”.
How could I stand when I couldn’t even get up and walk? Lying on the floor day in and day out became my bed.
I felt stuck in a marriage where my dreams were lost. It was easier to be unkind and unloving to my husband than it was to be forgiving and allowing love to cover a multitude of sins. I was too brokenhearted and too hurt to love.
Godliness is hard because we feel we are not good enough for God; let alone live the godly life He intended. So, we play it safe instead of moving forward. We get sidetracked by religion instead of relationship. We get stuck on what we can’t do. We fear that godliness is unattainable, so we don’t make the effort.
The beauty of a relationship with Jesus is that godliness is already in our salvation package. 2 Peter 1:3 says: His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the full knowledge of the one who called us by his own glory and excellence.
The fifth chapter of John’s Gospel recounts for us the story of Jesus at the pool of Bethesda. There a man, ill for 38 years, had long been lying beside the pool, crippled and waiting for someone to put him in the pool for his healing. The conversation went like this:
Jesus asked the man: “Do you want to be well”?
“Sir,” he replied, “I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me”.
Jesus replies, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk”.
To be well or made whole, the man had to move in obedience to God’s request. It is amazing what a brave step towards obedience to God will do. I can imagine what the crippled man felt like when he pushed up on his feet and was able to stand and walk away from his paralyzed condition.
Stand was what Jesus asked me to do when I wanted to leave my husband and my marriage. Stand was what Jesus told me to do when lying on the floor for days became my bed, too distraught to get up and walk. Stand was what Jesus told me to do when people talked about us and our marriage.
During those challenging weeks and months ahead, all I could do was relentlessly pursue Jesus. Godliness wasn’t even on my mind. Neither was the blessings of a daughter, a restored marriage, or becoming more of the godly woman God called me to be. Who knew God was shaping my purpose for His glory.
It wasn’t on my mind, but it was on the mind and heart of Jesus.
Prayer: Jesus there is no one like you. Every difficult circumstance of our lives is an invitation to pursue a deeper relationship with you. We will never know what the blessing of our obedience will do. You are truly amazing!
In Jesus Name. Amen.