Do You Want to Get Well?
by Wendy Blight

“Pick up your mat and walk.” John 5:11 (NIV)

Are you familiar with the story of the man on the mat found in the Gospel of John? As the story opens, we find Jesus entering Jerusalem after a tiring journey. His Father led Him to a dirty, smelly pool of water. Every day the lame, weak, and sick gathered at this pool, believing an angel would come down, touch the water, and fill it with healing powers. Whoever entered the pool first received instant healing. As Jesus wandered through the crowd, God drew his eyes to an invalid lying on a mat.

Jesus looked deep into his soul and asked, “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.”

Have you ever felt like this invalid? Are you paralyzed by fear, despair, isolation, or self-pity? Do you believe you are the victim of unfortunate circumstances?

I lived like that invalid for over a decade. In 1986 at age 21, I was raped by a masked stranger hiding in my apartment. Before that day, I loved my life. I had just completed four years of college and graduated with honors. I had dated and become engaged to a wonderful man. I had even been voted a homecoming princess and had an amazing job waiting for me. After that day, worldly praise and blessings meant nothing. My attacker’s vile and cruel act shattered my hopes and my dreams.

After that I lived in a prison of fear and despair. Then I encountered Christ in this gospel story. The words Jesus spoke to the crippled man pierced my soul. I realized that I was the man on the mat. I enjoyed being the victim. I had become accustomed to my place of sorrow. Worse, I was comfortable there.

I came to know the truth of Hebrews 4:12: “For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” God’s Word spoke personally to me. I knew I needed to take a first step.

I surrendered my fear, my pity, and my grief, and opened my heart to God’s Word. I learned He had a plan for my life and a purpose for my pain. I knew I would never see it until I had the courage to get up and walk.

If you find yourself on a mat, will you trust me and open God’s Word? God will speak into your heart promises of hope and healing. However, before you can take that step off your mat, you must surrender your fear, self-pity, and despair. Sweet friend, God is waiting. Will you take the first step?

Dear Heavenly Father, I humbly come before You, My Creator and my Savior. I love You and thank You that You love me with an everlasting and unconditional love. Since You created me and chose me as Your own, Father, I give myself to You now, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I give you permission to come in and wash me clean. Heal me of my hurts. Take away my pain. Remove anything in my life that hinders my relationship with You. Fill me with the fullness of Your Spirit and enable me to take the first step off my mat. Show me the great plans You have for me. I ask this in the powerful name of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Jesus?

Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story by Wendy Blight (To be released February 2009 – pre order your copy today!)

His Princess, Love Letters from Your King by Sheri Rose Shepherd

Who Holds the Key to Your Heart? by Lysa TerKeurst

Application Steps:
List some practical steps you are going to take to make this happen. Write a prayer asking God to implement your plan.

Reflections:
Are you stuck on a mat? Do you find yourself giving excuses?

Is there something in your life keeping you from God’s plan? Are you willing to trust God with whatever “it” is, get off your mat, open His Word and let Him bring His hope and healing into your life?

Power Verses:
Isaiah 41:17, “The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.” (NIV)

Psalm 40:1-2, “I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and the mire; He set my feet upon a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” (NIV)

© 2008 by Wendy Blight. All rights reserved.


11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Wendy for the devotional. This is not the first time I hear this message. God is asking me once again whether do I want to get well / be healed of my pains and sorrows. Recently went through a breakup. Literally fell from crest to pit. Nothing seems to cheer me up and I just kind of isolating myself from our common friends. Even entertain the thought of changing church so to avoid the hurt. Grieving takes time and I know healing is a process. I really want to get well.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel that rape is the most violating crime. One of my family members were just recently raped while standing outside a club waiting for someone. She was taken and drove around in a car while a man repeatedly raped her. She is very young and was still a virgin. This man was going to kill her but she begged for her life and thank God he just threw her out of the car (while it was still moving). I feel very angry over what has happened to her and she doesn't want to talk about it. I pray that God heals her and helps her get through this. Thank you for sharing your experience. It gives me hope for her.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks so much for sharing your testimony and using it in away with the scripture.

Blogger Kathy said...

Wendy! What a blessing to see your name on a devo and to hear your sweet spirit resonating throughout it. May you be blessed for sharing your story--so many will be encouraged by it. I was also thrilled to see you have a book coming out. Congratulations!

Anonymous patricia said...

Thank you so much for sharing God's work in you with others. Bless you. May the Lord protect you always.

Blogger Obdada said...

i receive "Encouragement For TodaY" eVeryday
& it giVes mE sTrength. thanKs..
Sept 23'ds waS eXtremeLy poWerfuL...Personal testimony iS aLways sO...
GoD bleSS YoU...
ThanKs foR yoUr inspiRaTioN tO mE

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ask for your prayers..I need healing in my life and I need God to show me how to be free...the slimy pit is where I live most of the time... self-pity is a horrible disease...

Anonymous Carrie said...

I learned a long time ago that 'victim' is never an adjective that God uses to describe his people. We don't choose to become victims, but we do choose whether we will stay one. The word of GOD calls us victors, not victims. As hard and painful as it can be sometimes, we must CHOOSE LIFE, for that is what HE has commanded us to do. (1) Love HIM (Jesus and the Father) with all our hearts, minds and soul; (2) Obey HIS voice - the word of God; and(3) Cling to HIM for HE is our life and the length of our days. HE promises in Deut. 30 that that which HE has commanded us is not too hard or too far off, but in our hearts and on our tongues to do them. HIS promises are yes and amen! Believe HIM! HE never lies. Much love to you my sisters in Christ and I pray for us all as we pick up our mats and walk.

Anonymous Christy Johnson said...

What a powerful story, so candid and transparent! You give healing hope for many hurting women.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Wendy for the devotion. It means a lot to know there are others who have made it out of the pit of despair. I have gone through a break up and the loss of some of my closest friends. I have a deep sadness that consumes my heart. I just can't seem to get past it. I have one friend in particular who has hurt me deeply and I am scared of losing this relationship because I have been so dependent on this person for a very long time. Please continue to pray for me and all the other women who feel alone and sad.

Blogger Buffy said...

Good for you that instead of sweeping this under the carpet you are able to talk about it openly and so reach out to all the other hurting people out there. And good for you that with God's help you were able to turn around a horribly negative experience. As you say, so many of us get stuck in being a miserable victim years after the event. And yet others manage to soar about it. You give many hope.

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