Pick Up Your Mat by Mayada Naami

One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “’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.’” 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 5:5-9, NIV)

Do you sometimes feel paralyzed or immobilized by fear? When Jesus saw the invalid at Bethesda, He asked him the same question He asks each one of us today, “Do you want to get well?” That is the most important question to ask yourself. Have you given up hope? Are you feeling helpless and alone? The man at Bethesda felt helpless until Jesus came along and commanded him to pick up his mat and walk.

 “‘But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.’” So he said to the paralyzed man, “’I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.’” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.

(Luke 5:24–25, NIV)

In the book of Luke, Chapter 5, there is an account of another paralyzed man who was brought to Jesus by his friends. They carried him on a mat and lowered him through the roof at the house where Jesus was teaching. At times, like the paralyzed men in the Bible, we can be lame spiritually and need Divine help. We all find ourselves paralyzed at some point in our lives, unable to do the thing we want or ought to do. We can feel weak; crippled by uncertainty or fear. This is when Jesus asks us to have faith, pick up our mat and walk with Him.

And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

(James 5:15, NIV)

Do you sometimes feel crippled by fear and anxiety?




Lord, help me to stand up and pick up my mat when I am feeling weak and helpless. I pray that I may walk with confidence that you are walking by my side.

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