by Patty Mason
Have you ever wanted to be somewhere, but didn’t want to make the effort to get there?
I wanted to attend a women’s fellowship gathering, but it had been raining for hours, leaving my spirit as gloomy as the day. I longed to be with friends and share times of laughter, but it was dark and I didn’t want to make the long drive on that back country road. Allowing my feelings to overrule my desires, I stayed home where I was comfortable and only thought about being at the gathering.
Sometimes, this is how it is in our walk with Jesus. We yearn for peace. We want healing. We long for the joy of the Lord. We wish we could walk in freedom. Trouble is, we don’t want to take the journey to get there. We make reasonable excuses and talk ourselves out of what needs to be done. Content with our comfortable surroundings, we settle for less than.
This is not how Jesus wants us to live. He wants us to find our courage in Him, to push past our discomfort and take the journey. At times, the road may be long, dark, uncomfortable, even stormy, but if we want real change, we need to make the choice to stop making excuses, to get up, take the hand of Jesus, and start walking.
“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).
Just like this invalid man, I understand the desperate cries for healing. I also understand how easy it is to give up, make excuses, or lie in the problem. When Jesus asked the invalid man the question, “Do you want to get well?” he made excuses. “Sir, 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” (John 5:7 NIV).
For thirty-eight years this man remained stuck. His past became his present, and if he didn’t stop making excuses, his present would become his future.
Each New Year we have an opportunity to begin again and find fresh hope. If we want to be somewhere in our walk with Jesus, enjoying His peace, joy, and freedom, then we need to be willing to take the journey and do what needs to be done. Together, let’s discover what is possible in this New Year as we stop making excuses and follow Jesus instructions, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” (John 5:8 NIV).
“Walk in obedience to all that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.” Deuteronomy 5:33 NIV
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Patty Mason was once drowning in despair. On the brink of suicide, Jesus set her free. Now her passion is to help others find the hope she found through Jesus Christ. Patty Mason has shared her story of God’s deliverance before numerous audiences, in several books, blogs, magazines, such as Lifeway’s “Living More,” as well as radio and television, including American Family Radio, Moody Radio, and The 700 Club.
Patty is the author of Finally Free: Breaking the Bonds of Depression Without Drugs, the founder of Liberty in Christ Ministries, and the director of the Seeking Freedom Mentoring Program. She lives in Nashville, TN, with her husband of 32 years. They have three grown children and three grandchildren. Find her at LibertyinChristMinistries.com.
Join the conversation: How can you move forward into the new this new year?