To us who once believed that our grandest, noblest intention always guarantees our highest and purest attention —
We don’t get it at times.
We don’t always get the fact that life hurts. And hearts break.
That we can stand under the here and now, and all that orbiting Sun and stars around the Milky Way’s spiralling galaxy — and believe that there’s truly a Creator who cares for, and loves, and is most concerned about us.
One who’s not confined with what confines us.
That there’s really life beyond our four mile radius of pain.
That we can be alive and be healed, right here in the midst of our pain.
That we just don’t see it at times.
That the biggest, most pressing question of our lifetime?— even more important than those debated by the brightest minds of politics and education, (if we dare face our most honest selves), is always the question of what would we do with the source of pain in our lives.
It’s the question no one wants to ask, but everyone wants answers for.
Ask anyone. Search their faces. String together their voiceless notes echoing through the empty chamber of their hearts, and you’ll see — everyone carries their own unspoken pain.
And no matter what pretty picture we’re posting or tweeting, and what mirage of a life we’re painting that’s instaworthy, there’s no way of moving ahead, forgetting the past, resolving the hurt, healing the wounds if we don’t deal with pain the way we’re supposed to.
So name your time.
For him, it’d been 38 long years.
Thirty eight of laying lame, living paralysed, lying invalid.
Decades of not having seen the light of life, or heaving the hope of a heart. He didn’t think there was a way out.
He’d said it himself — “I have no one to help me… and while I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
Perhaps he’d just accepted the fact, that ‘this is just the way life’s gonna be‘. That he’d just have to be happy staying close to the edge of miracle without ever walking through miracles himself.
That his lot in life was just to see the healing of others without experiencing his own cure.
He’d set up barriers that he didn’t think he could ever cross.
But Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be healed?”
“Do we want to be well?”—there He’s asking us the same question too. The question we ought to be dealing and resolving in our hearts too.
If there’s just no way of avoiding this life’s battle ground, and you’ve gotta lie in the night dealing with fragments of a broken life, or the toxic memory of hurts drilling pain boring holes into your heart, then:
Simply embrace the One who holds the key to your healing.
Because how you answer your question of pain has the potential to shape who you’ll become, and what you’ll make out of it.
Deal with each pain as they come.
Feel it all – the loss, the lostness, the aloneness…
Take it off by the layer – the anger, the guilt, the regret, the hurt, the remorse…
And allow God to break up your pain by breaking up your heart. Of all that’s barren and hardened and are unproductive…. nobody needs to tell us that breaking up is always, always painful.
And you may feel like no one sees you – or understand the depth of the agony you’re going through.
But He does.
Because snubbing away our pain only masks the root issues of our hearts. Stuffing away our pain only hardens the rebirth of the new that comes with our tears. Sorting pain by sorting it out with God always leave new ground tender for new births, new beginnings.
We can only break through when we allow pain surrendered to the compassion of Christ to break us up, to break us out and to break us forth.
To the man who’d been an invalid for 38 years, who’d seen no light of day — Jesus confronted his bodily pain as much as he challenged his internal belief.
That for us to see healing, we must desire it….We must see that He is able.
We must see the hands who move the mountains and birth the winds and say, “that’s all the hands I need”. To know that He’s not finished with us yet. That 38 years of past will not need be our present or our future.
That a barrage of bruises need not be our badges.
Don’t for one day stop thinking about the miracles He can do for us.
And to this same man, and to all of us, Jesus’ words came tender and true: “Rise Up, Take Your Mat and Walk”
The proof of God’s healing in us is always, always, in our arising and walking.
And you can be bedridden and still arise and walk with your pen and words and love.
Sow righteousness for yourselves,
reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;
for it is time to seek the Lord,
until he comes
and showers his righteousness on you.
This is what He’s able to do for us, and what we ought to do with the biggest mountain of our lives, the deepest scar of our past: break them so we can break with the heart of God for others, so we can go, show and tell.
And this is what we ought to do with all the weaknesses of our lives. Don’t waste them, witness about God in and through them.
Has Christ healed you?
Let’s take our mat up and walk…