Get Up and Walk!
One day, I was walking on the treadmill at the gym. I was strolling along at a leisurely speed of three, with no incline. I let my mind wander, and a million thoughts filled my head. I completely zoned out. That is, until Bam! I found myself sprawled out on the wood floor. Yes. I fell off the treadmill while walking. Making matters worse, the gym was full. One of my teachers was walking on the treadmill adjacent to me and couldn't contain her laughter. A man ran up to me, asking if I was alright. Honestly, I was fine. I started laughing too. Laugh instead of cry, right? I had a bruise for a couple of weeks, but that was the worst damage. My pride was more hurt than my body.
On a serious note, how often do we get off the right path because we are distracted? How often do we lose focus resulting in failure? How often do anxious thoughts consume our minds, disabling us from stepping forward in faith? Hebrews 12:1-2 states, “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” If we don’t fix our eyes on Jesus, we will inevitably fall.
It is difficult to fix our eyes on Jesus when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. It is difficult to take another step and trust in Him. We often fix our eyes on our problems instead of running in perseverance. We live a life of comfort and complacency, waiting for God to change our circumstances.
In John 5, a man felt the same way. He was disabled for 38 years. Jesus found him lying on the ground, no longer able to take another step. Jesus asked him, “Do you want to get well?” The man told Jesus, “Sir, I have no one to help me get into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Jesus said six words with substantial meaning: “Pick up your mat and walk!” In an instant, the man experienced healing.
We are like the man on the ground. At our lowest, we often rely on other people and worldly things for healing. We think if we had someone to help us heal, if we had a relationship, if we lived somewhere else, if we had a different job, if we had a change in the situation, then we would heal. Sometimes, we look towards self-help tactics for healing. Or, just like man, we feel as if God has left us behind. Maybe you’re watching as everyone else appears to be living your dream life. You wonder, "When will I be the bride instead of the bridesmaid? When will I be the employee to get the promotion? When will my family look as put together as “that” family? When will I be as confident as her? When will I move on? When will I heal from my loved one's death?"
Jesus is commanding us to get up and walk. Picking ourselves up is not easy. However, by fixing our eyes on Christ, it is possible. One step at a time. Day by day. We can get up by having hope in Jesus and assurance in His word. We can look past our circumstances and find joy right where we are. Even while healing, we can find little moments which make our lives beautiful. If you relate to the disabled man, I hope you will listen to Christ. Get up and walk! Fix your eyes on Him and praise Him even in the valley.
Point of view of the disabled man:
How can I heal?
When my body is numb.
I can't even feel.
I can’t cry
Because my tear ducts are dry.
I’ve tried everything.
But still feel the same.
Don’t know how to cope.
I’m losing hope.
Will I see the light?
Or will I lose this fight?
Point of view of the healed man:
Nothing in this world can provide healing. Nothing can bring me joy.
Nothing can give me feeling.
So I’ll fix my eyes on what is above.
Jesus, provide peace like a dove.
I thought I would lose the fight
But you gave me a new life!
You heal my doubt and strife.
Now I have a meaning to life:
To bring others to Christ.
The picture is from @saltandgoldcollection on Instagram. It is from a series of art called The Footwashing Series: get ready for Jesus to flip the tables of your heart.