“One of the men lying [at the pool of Bethesda] had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, ‘Would you like to get well?’
‘I can’t, sir,’ the sick man said, ‘for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.’
Jesus told him, ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!’
Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, ‘You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!’
But he replied, ‘The man who healed me told me, “Pick up your mat and walk.” ‘ “John 5:5-11
Life is full of norms – full of “supposed tos.” You’re supposed to do it this way or you can’t do that because that’s not how it’s supposed to be. At times we may find ourselves mired in unnecessary red tape when we’re trying to get something done, which can be frustrating to say the least. So how did the Lord deal with these things?
Jesus Christ often broke the norms of men but always obeyed and honored the laws of the Father. Is there something in your life that you want but people are telling you it has to be done a certain way or are they trying to stop you from getting something you want because it doesn’t follow the norms? Don’t let the “supposed tos” stop you from getting what you need just because it goes against the grain or hasn’t been done before. If what you want is in accordance with the Lord’s will you will be blessed in your doing, in spite of any one else’s opinions.
Notice what the Lord asks the sick man. He asks him if he wanted to be healed. The man had no one to help him so he had to violate the customs of the religious leaders of the day to get what he wanted, he had to pick up his own mat to receive his healing. He is faced with a choice: remain sick and obey the norms of the religious leaders that kept him in bondage or listen to God and break those norms to receive his healing. The man chose to listen to God and so received his healing.
If you’re struggling with getting something you want perhaps you need to try a different and new approach that others might consider unorthodox but is in keeping with the Lord’s will (this last part is important). Pray to the Lord to give you the strength and courage to follow him and not allow yourself to be held in bondage.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright @1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.