Begin this new day by praying this prayer out loud. As you are able, consider kneeling as a physical expression of your commitment to Jesus as Lord of your life and the one you desire to lead you this day. Alternatively, you might consider placing a hand over your heart as you pray this prayer.
God of rescue and restoration, thank You for Your great and beautiful mission in the world. Here I am Lord, fill me with Your Spirit and send me.
Sometime later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
“Do you want to get well?”
“Why do you think I’ve been waiting here for 38 years? Someone always gets there first!”
This was the story when the water was troubled, stirred up, an angel was present and there was a healing moment. The troubled water was a sign of healing and that God was present. So focused on the troubled water, the man couldn’t see the greater sign of God’s presence, Jesus. Things changed when Jesus said, “Get up, pick up your mat, and walk!” It was the voice of authority and love that made the man respond. God had come to him.
Still, he had to respond, to get up, carry his mat, and walk. Sometimes when help is offered, we’d rather stay in the familiar. Don’t let illness or need define our lives, but instead, Jesus the Christ. Rise up and take that first step.
What is your first step to healing?
When you are finished with your time of reflection, close out this time with this prayer.
Father, help me to live this day to the full,
being true to You in every way.
Jesus, help me to give myself away to others,
being kind to everyone I meet.
Spirit, help me to love the lost,
proclaiming Christ in all I do and say.
Sign up to receive an email notification whenever a new devotional is posted to The First 15.