Hello friends! I’m excited to be writing a post today in hopes of doing what my heart loves to do most of all…encourage. Knowing I can pass on a few words of encouragement that may in some way give you a great, big hug from afar and remind you of just how loved you are, even if it touches just one of y’all, makes it totally worth sharing. There’s nothing more beautiful than being able to uplift one another in this walk of life and point each other to Christ.
Through my journey of reading God’s Word, I continually find what I like to call “Hidden Treasures” of messages that seem to fit exactly what I’m going through. They seem to be exactly what I needed to hear that day. I’m telling y’all, I once used to be that girl who was so intimidated by the Bible, but let me just say…never underestimate how Scripture can be tailored exactly for YOU and whatever you may be facing in your personal life story. I have seen that time and time again, and what a blessing it has been for me.
All of this to say, I just finished up reading the book of John. A few weeks ago, reading in chapter five, I certainly had one of those “Thank you, Lord. This was exactly what I needed to hear.” moments. And it has been on my heart ever since. Have y’all ever been in a situation where you’ve fervently prayed for something. And are continuing to? Do you feel frustration from it? Do you start to feel agitated to a state where you’re saying “Lord, why aren’t you answering my prayers?” or maybe ever “Lord, where are you? Do you hear me?” You’re looking at your life and find yourself continuing to throw out those if only phrases. And bottom line boil it down to “why doesn’t my life look like this? I’ve prayed so hard about it.” This is what society portrays it to be, this is what those around me seem to have working for them, “Lord, don’t you know I need this?!”
I’d say most of us could probably relate to what I typed out above. We’re human. And having those thoughts and feelings can feel natural at times. If you’ve felt some of that or have found yourself saying something similar, I have so been there with you. Recently, actually, which is why I’m sharing this with you today. I read John chapter five, and a realization struck me. It resonated with me in a much more powerful way than Jesus performing a miracle. It’s given me a new mindset. Let’s dig into it a little more:
In John chapter five, we read that Jesus had just arrived back in Jerusalem for a festival. He passes by a pool, where many individuals with disabilities would gather. The pool was thought to have healing abilities due to the minerals it contained, taking on a red-ish color believed to have medicinal value. There was one individual who had been laying there, disabled for thirty-eight years (wow, talk about waiting! And we get frustrated when our Prime delivery is a day late.)! Jesus goes up to him and proceeds to ask him “Do you want to get well?” The individual begins to explain how he has no one to help him get into the pool when the water (minerals, giving the water that healing ability) are stirred. He also adds that when he is about to try and get in, other people jump in front of him. Then, Jesus simply speaks a few words: “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once, this invalid of thirty-eight years, picks up his mat and walks. He proclaimed that Jesus had made him well.
I at first read this and thought, ok this another story of Jesus healing someone, that’s amazing and all. However, a totally different lesson began to register with me. It hit me on a whole new level. God spoke something to my heart that addressed some of those exact feelings I was having. I want to share those with y’all today. Let’s break the chapter down a little more.
“Do you want to get well?”
I found this question to take on a different meaning in my heart. As I read this, I started to wonder why Jesus proposed this question. Doesn’t Jesus know this man’s heart?! With that, I start to ask well then why do I pray? Again, doesn’t Jesus know my heart?! But I firmly believe, Jesus doesn’t just want to know our hearts, He wants to HEAR our hearts! He wants us to come to Him, resting on that foundation of Faith. God’s Word tells us over and over to pray without ceasing, seek His face continually, etc. God wants us to come to Him. Maybe by asking this question, Jesus wanted to see more of what healing looked like in his eyes? What it mostly brought my heart to is the statement: Believe in What You Pray For. I have to stop and ask myself this sometimes. After praying about something for a long time, it’s easy to grow weary. I have to take a step back and truly ask if I believe with all my heart that God can do exceedingly, above all I could ever ask or think. Believing in what you pray for is so important to our prayer walk.
“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.”
This next portion, verse seven, so powerfully resonated with me. Thirty-Eight years y’all!! You can hear the frustration in this person’s voice. The struggle. He is telling Jesus that he has tried so very hard to get into this pool at that moment the minerals are stirred. He’s saying he has no one to help him get in, AND to top it off, just as he tries to, others jump in front of him.
I can’t help but think on how weary he felt. How close he came to (or how many times) he gave up. How ultimately frustrated he was! He’s there saying “ok, this is what I have to do in order to be healed. I have to find a way to get into this pool.” He saw his assignment ahead of him, yet no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t quite make it. And to top it off, others kept beating him to the punch.
“Get Up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
Then just like that, with a few words spoken, this individual is healed. Jesus simply told him to get up, pick up his mat and walk. Just by his speaking he was healed.
Oh friends, typing out my thoughts on this brings me to such a peaceful understanding God laid on my heart through meditating on this passage. So many times, I will fixate myself on the way, the process, the steps I need to take in order to “just get there.” To reach that next level. To accomplish a task. And even more so, think on how my life should look. I will narrow my scope, pray in such a way to where I’m almost presenting a checklist to God, saying “Here Lord! I know you’re here and it would be great if you could do this so my life will look like this.” And you know what? When I don’t see prayers answered in the way I feel they should be, I grow weary. Sounds familiar? I feel like this individual from John five in need of healing could agree with us. Ultimately, I’m trying to write my script. Just as this man felt his story should look, I’ll do the exact same thing with mine. Then all of the sudden in a split second, Jesus steps in and says get up and walk! Let Me write your story. I have something so much better for you.
This also encouraged me to PRAY BIG! Y’all there’s absolutely nothing stopping us! Instead of fixating prayers what I feel I need to make my life go a certain way, know that God can do exceedingly above all we could ever ask or think! His way is always so much better.
I also know how notorious I am with overcomplicating things. Can any of y’all relate? I’ll be faced with something in life and feel like I have to do this, that the other to make it all work out. I can’t help but think in verse seven, as this person is explaining what he has to do in order to be healed, Jesus is saying “rest”. “Take a deep breath.” Because when I look at the individuals thoughts on healing compared to the way Jesus healed, one looks a lot more simple.
One more takeaway for me that I want to share with y’all. As this man is telling Jesus that each time he tries to get in the pool, someone else jumps in front of him, I can’t help but think on comparing our individual journeys to someone else’s. Comparison is a vicious trap! When you’ve been praying for something, it is so easy to get caught up in seeing what other people have and how things may look for them. And again, just as this man is seeing the way he should be healed compared to the way others are being healed, Jesus shows him the unique story He has in store. His way to being healed. And goodness is it a beautiful one.
I wanted to share all of this with y’all today, truly hoping it can encourage your heart. Friends if you’ve been praying for something, if you feel weary in your walk, if you’re growing weary, can I just encourage you to pray big?! Look at what you’re praying for and ask yourself, “could it be that God just may have something for me that’s bigger, more beautiful, more amazing than I could have every imagined?” Because just when you think your story should look a certain way, God says hold up, take a deep breath, I am sufficient for you, let me write your story. I have something in store for you that is abundantly more than you could ever ask or thing. Two of my favorite devotionals, The Quiet Place by Nancy DeMoss and Seeing Beautiful Again by Lysa TerKeurst, reminded me of how precious this lesson is and seemed to confirm to me it’s something God wants me to grasp hold of . I actually read these on the same day and the day after I read John chapter five.
“God can be trusted to operate within His perfect timing, according to His good, sovereign, eternal will. It’s God’s responsibility to orchestrate the events and details of our lives.” – Nancy DeMoss
“God loves us too much to answer our prayers at any other time than the right time and in any other way but the right way.” – Lysa TerKeurst
I so hope this can encourage y’all to pray big and trust the God of the universe, who created you fearfully and wonderfully, to write your beautiful story. Waiting is hard. There’s no doubt about it. But when we can trust Him to write a beautiful story for us, so much peace will result. So get up! Pick up your mat and walk in the confidence of the author of your story.
Sending a great, big hug y’alls way! Thanks for stopping by.