God has spoken! It’s a New Day!! The words resonate deep within me. I long to leave that which has become stale, that which has wearied me, that which has pulled me away from purpose and destiny rather than towards its greater fulfillment. I long for the reality of a NEW DAY! I am grateful for a second, a third, a millionth chance.
I am keenly aware that the reality of these words rests in my ability to respond accordingly! I must know it is so – not because things necessarily look or feel different, but because I trust and believe what my Father says. And if I trust and believe what He says, then I must begin to live as if it really is a new day. I must develop a totally new way of seeing, a new way of thinking, a new way of speaking, a new way of being! I must rise in every way in my faith, live in this new place and respond to the world around me in new ways!
It is only new for me if I dare to be new! It’s my choice! And it will only be new for you if you dare to be new! It’s your choice!
The Lord reminded me of the man at the pool of Bethesda, who had lived 38 years crippled and impotent! He, along with a multitude of infirmed people, would lie at the Pool of Bethesda (the House of Grace, Mercy, Outpouring, Healing), waiting day in and day out, week in and week out, month in and month out, year in and year out in hope that the next time the waters were troubled, he’d be the first to make it in and be healed.
But each time the waters were troubled, someone else perhaps so eager to be healed, stepped over him, stepped on him, shoved him aside and made it into the water. And each time I imagine that hope waned a bit more. Perhaps by now, he’d inwardly given up any hope of being healed. And yet he continued to do the same thing he’d always done — he came and he waited.
But one day Jesus—the true Pool of Bethesda– came. The Bible tells us Jesus saw the man and knew his condition. He saw into the man, recognized him and understood him completely. Jesus saw beyond the man’s crippled state, saw beyond the years of hopelessness and helplessness. He saw to the core of this man’s being. And He knew the man the Father had created him to be long before he was born.
Jesus singled this man out. Jesus made the first move.
Then came the question: Wilt thou be made whole? The Amplified Version reads, “Are you really earnest about getting well?” I used to wonder why Jesus would ask such a question. What other reason would the man have for coming to this place? But Jesus never asks irrelevant questions. He asked, “Are you ready now to be whole? Do you want it so badly, so deeply that you will do whatever is necessary to see this thing through? And most importantly, are you willing to accept the changes and responsibilities that result from being made whole?”
I just love how Jesus operates! He bypassed the man’s excuse and spoke emphatically to him: “Get up! Take up your bed and walk!”
It was a new day for this man, but only if he chose to respond. What did Jesus require of him?
- Get up! How could a lame man get up? The Lord asked him to do that which up to this point had been impossible. To embrace his new day, he had to be willing to do something new. He had to be willing to believe the impossible and act.
- Take up your bed. That mat represented the old, the comfortable, the familiar; it was a reminder of his past. “Pick it up!” Jesus said. “As long as it remains, as soon as the challenges come or you stumble, fall or fail, you will want to retreat to that old place. Pick it up! It serves no purpose any longer!”
- Walk! Again, Jesus requires the man to do what he’d not been able to do before. The word “walk” in the Greek is found in the present imperative tense, meaning continuous action. Walk and don’t stop! You are no longer bound to the past. New opportunities await you. Create a path! You are no longer limited to this place. WALK!
At this point it was no longer about troubled water; it was no longer about having no one to help him. This man now had a word from the Lord. All that was left was for him to obey in faith.
And so God speaks to us today. He has singled us out! He has made the first move and has already prepared this new day for us. He now invites us, in faith, to Get up, Take up your beds and Walk in the newness of the day!