Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. ~ John 5:8 NLT
I’m the least hip person you’ll ever come across. I’ve been telling “You know you’re old when” jokes since my teens! I never truly caught on to slang; I only started using contractions in college (can’t, don’t, won’t, etc.), I didn’t own a pair of jeans until my last year of high school and didn’t wear jeans to school until my last year of college. My idea of a good time during the traditional “party years” (late teens and twenties) was a good book in a quiet corner. My brother and sister used to rib me all the time, nerd and geek being their favorite words. One day when we were all in our twenties, we had a relaxed day of togetherness. At some point that afternoon my brother was indecisive about something he wanted to do. After much hemming and hawing, I snapped, “Just bust a move!”
I’m giggling now remembering the astonished look on his face and my sister’s chortle at me using a slang phrase correctly. But he made a decision at that moment and we all followed through on it.
“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.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” ~ John 5:7-10 NLT
Perhaps I’ve known the principle of this story from a young age, because I can’t recall a time when I’ve known what I’ve wanted and didn’t act on achieving it or prepare to receive it. I’ve certainly had my low moments when I’ve prayed for help, support, and assistance of any kind; and lower moments when the help I was looking for never arrived. But being low (in spirit, in mind, in encouragement, etc.) never stopped me from standing up straight and moving forward. The only thing I could do was to do what needed to be done. And if it was something I needed to do, then I knew I had the power to do it. I just had to do it.
Sounds simple, I know. Take another look at John 5:8, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
Jesus was speaking to an invalid. By definition an invalid is a person who is too sick or weak to care for himself. Not only that, Jesus was telling the weak person who was incapable of caring for himself to do something the law told him he couldn’t do on that particular day. Talk about difficult circumstances! Neither were excuses Jesus was interested in hearing or accepting.
You have no one to help you? Get up and do it yourself! You’re looking for help from an outside source? Your help comes from within!
As soon as the man heard those words, the scripture says AT ONCE he was cured. INSTANTLY his season as an invalid was over. IMMEDIATELY he stood up on his once useless legs, bent over and picked up the mat he had been prone on for an indeterminate amount of time. There are no pauses or gaps, no “let’s-wait-and-sees” or prayer sessions between Jesus speaking His command and the man acting on it.
If you’re waiting on help to get you to the next level, be assured God is waiting for you to bust a move. So, just do it.