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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

The 21 Day Experiment - Day 5: A Step of Faith

by Marilynn Chadwick

Get up! Pick up your mat and walk. (John 5:8 NIV)

Make a wish. Wish upon a star. I grant you three wishes. All are lines from my favorite fairy tales. A wish is exciting. Magical. But there’s something about a wish that seems out of reach. Webster defines a wish as a “a strong desire to have or do something—usually unattainable.”

It’s day five of our 21 Day Experiment. Today, we read about a crippled man with a wish that looked unattainable. He had been an invalid for thirty-eight long years. Life had passed him by.

Jesus noticed the man lying by the pool called Bethesda (which means “site of mercy"). The disabled would often gather around this pool. Rumor had it that people sometimes got healed when they bathed in the water.

“Do you want to get well?” Jesus asked the man (John 5:6 NIV). Seems like an insensitive question to ask a crippled guy at a healing pool who had been desperately trying to get well for thirty-eight years. Or had he?

Let’s take a closer look. The word Jesus used here for “want” is thelo, which means “to will, wish, or desire.” It not only describes a wish but also a pressing on to action. In short, thelo executes.

“Do you want to get well?” Notice the man never really answered Jesus’s question. Instead, he gave a couple of excuses. He had no one to help him get into the water. Every time he tried to get near the pool someone else got there first.

Jesus's response? A startling command: “Get up! Pick up your mat, and walk” (John 5:8 NIV). Look at what happened next. “At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked” (John 5:9 NIV).

Could the crippled man sense that Jesus had already healed him when he took that staggering first step? What was there about Jesus that ignited the faith to stand up after thirty-eight years as an invalid? That guy went from passive to active, hopeless to faith-filled in an instant!

The watchword I’ve chosen today is the same word Jesus spoke to the man: “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk” (John 5:8 NIV).

Sometimes the best response—after we’ve prayed and prayed and prayed about a problem—is to “stand up, pick up our mat, and walk.” Even if we’ve asked before. Even if the answer has been slow in coming. Even if we’ve been disappointed or delayed or distracted.

What is the Lord saying to you through his Word? What is your big ask? Dare to take Jesus at his Word. Today could be your breakthrough!

Prayer: Lord, fill me with faith to believe you can heal that broken place that has caused me to lose hope. I take you at your Word. Give me courage to stand up and step out in faith!

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