by Brandy Webb
Sometimes life can figuratively knock the breath out of you. Trials can come in an avalanche rolling you down the hill that you were just about to conquer, leaving you breathless, stunned, hurt, and bewildered at the bottom on the ground covered with piles of “snow” on top of you preventing you from standing back up. At this time, all you really want to do is ball up in a “fetal position” and give up trying.
It is not fun being in that heap. It is so easy to just give up and give into hopelessness. Yet instead of giving up, you and I have to get up and walk, or at least crawl, out of the heap of despair. We have to keep moving forward.
Life is not easy. What is easy is giving up. It is easy to shut down and stop walking forward. The hard thing to do is stand up and start walking one small step in front of the other, and our Messiah knows this. Every time when life has knocked me down and I have the urge to just stay there lying on the ground, I remember the story when Jesus told the lame man: “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk” (John 5:8).
This lame man had laid by the pool of Bethesda thirty-eight years waiting for someone to pick him up and place him in the pool for healing (John 5: 5-7). Thirty-eight years is a very long time to have given up on moving forward. It is a very long time to just lie there. I would have been up against the edge of that pool, so that all I had to do was roll into it.
The thing that gets me is that Jesus doesn’t join the man’s “pity-party.” He doesn’t sympathize with him either. He just tells him to get up and walk.
I don’t know what was wrong with the man, but at times when I’m having a pity-party a still small voice tells me to stop, get out of my despair, and live. (Actually, the exact words are “suck it up buttercup and get moving forward again.”)
Christ doesn’t want us to give up and stop walking in faith. He needs us to get up, dust ourselves off, and keep walking. If Christians who have a hope give up on their hope, what hope can there be for everyone else? Basically, we need to be lights in this world, and we can do this by not giving up when trials knock us down. Our unwillingness to give up can be an example for someone else. It can be just what they need to see and learn to help themselves get up and walk. Our lights, no matter how large or small, can help “lighten” the load that is on others, so that they can have hope again. It is one way to live by faith.
Jesus is here to help us heal. He is here for us to lean on when it seems we can’t take another step. He knows our pain and suffering. He warned us that in this life we will have trouble. “But take heart!” He has overcome this world (John 16:33). Remember, we serve a God for whom nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). He can and will give “strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” (Isaiah 40:29). Don’t give up, instead get up and just keep walking towards the Kingdom of God.