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I’m in the middle of writing an article on loneliness as a means to drive us deeper into God’s heart and was just struck by the passage this nugget came from. The context is distress and anguish, feeling the grip of death’s crushing pull. Maybe you can relate. But the author of this psalm lifts his eyes above his circumstances and prays for deliverance. He meditates on the character of God; how He is gracious, righteous, and merciful. He remembers what God has done; how He preserves the simple and rescued him when he was flat on his back, hopeless and alone. Then comes verse seven. Circumstances haven’t changed for the author but, then again, God’s worthiness to be worshipped has never been contingent on ideal circumstances. No matter what our lives might look like right now, no matter how uncomfortable or excruciating our circumstances might be, if we have been redeemed by Jesus, we have every reason to “return to our rest;” for the the Lord INDEED has dealt bountifully with us. And He is worthy of our praise and confidence right here. •••• [Also, 1) this is not a staged photo and 2) you should go read all of Psalm 116 for yourself.]
Happy birthday to the best big sister! 🥳 You are as genuine and intentional as they get; you love deep and feel big, and I’m so thankful for your heart and life. 💜 Additionally, I’d like to know how much you were paid to hug me in this photo.
“Do not despair, dear heart, but come to the Lord with all your jagged wounds, black bruises, and running sores. He alone can heal, and He delights to do it. It is our Lord’s office to bind up the brokenhearted, and He is gloriously at home at it.” -Charles Spurgeon
“Theologians who limit the means of grace to overtly redemptive religious practices miss something about the God who speaks without words in the theater of His creation.” -David Powlison

Follow me as I follow Jesus

Monday Morning Munch No. 102 – What if he laughed at Jesus?

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Imagine being an invalid for 38 years. 

You live in Jerusalem and are an outcast of society.

You’re sickly and bedridden and no one will take you to the pool of Bethesda where you could potentially be healed.

And then one day this strange voice is directed at you, asking if you want to be healed.

Well, of course you want to be healed. That’s a silly question. But you explain how no one will take you to the pool and how you wouldn’t need only one person but two to help you in the water, and all the other reasons why you can’t be healed.

Does this sound familiar? It’s what happened in John 5 when Jesus approached this invalid, knowing he had been there a long time.

After the man lists the reasons he can’t be healed, Jesus said to him,

“Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” (John 5:8)

The next verse is crazy:

“And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.” 

Most people zone in on this story because Jesus healed on the sabbath, which almost put the Jews in cardiac arrest, but that’s not what stuck out to me this time.

Why is this verse crazy? Because the man actually took up his bed and walked. 

But what if he hadn’t? What if he believed healing was too good to be true so he just remained lying still on his mat, unable to believe there was another option?

I can imagine someone lame for 38 years laying there laughing at Jesus, “You want me to get up? Oh, that’s hilarious. Make fun of the lame man, you’re a riot.” And all the while he was free of his infirmities.

How many of us have been healed but still live as though we are sick? How many of us have been given all things that pertain to life and godliness (the answer is all those who have been born again, John 3) yet live as if we are poor lifeless creatures without the hope we say resides within us?

May God make all grace abound to us so that He is glorified in our getting up, taking up our beds, and walking in the freedom He died to secure.

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