A few months ago, I was out on a training run on the trail near my house with a group of mama friends. The air was brisk. Rays of light danced across the path and through the branches of the trees. Jewel-toned leaves carpeted the ground. Then suddenly my foot snagged on a crack in the sidewalk.
I went flying.
I skidded on my elbows and knees with no time to brace my fall. Thankfully, I didn’t break anything. After the wipeout, I felt a little dizzy and out of sorts. My friends asked if I needed help. With three miles to get home, I took a deep breath and tried to pull myself together.
Drawing my body up gingerly, I put one foot in front of the other and ran home. Somehow, I had enough adrenaline — or maybe it was pride — to carry me. When I got home, I assessed the real damage. My knees, palms, and elbows were pretty scraped up.
The next morning the real damage of the fall was revealed. My body ached all over. My right knee was tender and couldn’t bear any weight without a sharp, piercing pain that radiated through my knee cap. I winced anytime I bumped against a table leg or tried to kneel on it.
I’ve been running for thirty-five plus years, but I can’t remember ever falling like that. It was hard and humbling.
Whether literally or figuratively, wiping out is a part of life. There will be times when we try something and fail. There will be moments when we are blindsided by life’s circumstances and find ourselves nose to sidewalk.
What matters is how we respond.
John 5 highlights the story of when Jesus goes to the pool called Bethesda, which means “house of mercy.” This pool was a gathering place for the sick, blind, and physically disabled. The people believed that the first person to jump in when the waters were stirred would be healed. Jesus notices a man there who had been sick for thirty-eight years.
Can you imagine that kind of chronic illness?
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!
John 5:6-9 (NLT)
The man believes healing is impossible for him, but nothing is impossible with Jesus.
In His mercy, Jesus proves Himself the Healer — not the pool of Bethesda, which people believed had healing properties. Jesus gives the man three directives: Get up, pick up your mat, and walk.
Jesus offers these similar instructions to people in other parts of Scripture. In Matthew 9:6, He heals a paralytic and says, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home” Matthew 9:6 (NLT).
The book of Mark details a story about the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue who is raised from the dead. “Holding her hand, he said to her, ‘Talitha koum,’ which means ‘Little girl, get up!’ And the girl, who was twelve years old, immediately stood up and walked around!” Mark 5:41-42 (NLT).
All three of these people are offered healing by Jesus. He invites them to move out of this place of sickness and pain and to make a home in healing.
Friend, I hope these words remind you that Jesus is our Healer. We have to trust Him, get up, and walk in the direction He is calling us.
We are nearing the end of January, and some of you are shaming yourselves over broken resolutions, forgotten word of the year practices, and feeling bone weary of a pandemic that has drawn on for almost two years.
Maybe you are still battling long COVID or lingering discouragement or imposter syndrome. Maybe you feel a little scraped up and sore from these last few years. I’m here to remind you it’s never too late to get up and walk. Jesus offers you a hand of healing.
We know that Jesus doesn’t always miraculously heal people from sickness or disease. Sometimes He heals them by taking them to heaven. And sometimes He heals us over time in a way that our hearts, minds, and bodies are transformed. We can trust Him in that. He is the Healer calling us to rise, get up, and walk.
The following Sunday after my fall, I ran the half marathon I was training for with my friends. I knew from the start I had to take it easy. There would be no personal records or placement medals for me. I didn’t have anything to prove. The real victory was simply getting up and running my pace to the finish line.
Is there any area in your life in which you need to rise, get up, and walk toward healing? Share in the comments. I’d love to pray over you today.
Dorina wrote a devotional and training journal, Walk Run Soar, to help you get moving in the right direction in the new year! Sign up for her Glorygram newsletter and get all the insider details about her book and other projects.