Today he slapped a sticker the size of Texas on his baby brother. Right smack on the top of his sweet baby bird hair. It was the industrial sticky strength kind. The happy babe face turned to screams and writhing when I attempted to even tug at the side.
How am I going to unstick what’s been stuck?
As I considered this, I wondered to myself how often I find myself in this same place.
There once was a man who, too, was stuck to a mat. For thirty-eight years, he lay there.
Jesus asked, “Would you like to get well?”
The mat sticks hard.
There is no one is here to put me in the pool.
What are mine?
There is no time, there is not enough money. The boys are too small. The work feels too great. Overwhelmed (or underwhelmed) with expectations, I find myself frozen.
Like the paralytic, my body also lies stuck, unable to move.
But Jesus didn’t ask for excuses. He asked if I wanted to become well.
Do I really?
Or do I sort of like the excuses for the stuck places in my life, acting as a shield, enabling me to slough off that which I am really called towards?
Because sometimes it feels easier to just stay put.
But that’s just it.
Jesus didn’t ask about me what I am capable of doing.
Jesus, himself, asked if I wanted to be well.
Because he knows that I can’t heal myself. I can’t unstick for myself that which has been stuck. He didn’t ask how I was going to get up and pick up that mat.
That is his job.
He just asked if I wanted to be healed. If I wanted to become unstuck from that sticky mat.
Of course, I do.
The answer was simple–stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!
Get up. Do it. Stop making excuses.
Stand up–right where I am.
There is nothing sticking me there, other than me.
For the One who has called me, goes with me.
Action is the best way to counteract paralysis.
Do something. Even something small. The only one keeping things stuck, is me.
And Jesus calls me to life which is far greater than this. For as I journey with the One who calls me forth, I find that oil flows and grace is poured out, enabling me to do things that are far greater than what I could ever dare to dream or imagine. Why become paralyzed by possibilities ahead when the One who has called you forth goes with?
Because it is not about me and what I can or can’t do…because I will always fall short. I will always remain stuck to the mat, as long as I focus on me.
Rather, it is about the One who calls me out,
about the One who calls me forth,
and invites me to simply stand up.
Where God calls, God will lead and provide everything I need.
As I grab the bottle of olive oil from the shelf, I begin to sing, “Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning…” As I rub it into his baby bird fluff, working it under the sticker, it instantly unsticks the stuck.
Because maybe that is it…even in the midst of the stuck of life, oil is offered.
And as I accept this cup that overflows,
Grace is poured out,
and in those places where I seem most stuck, I find myself with an invitation to get up,
Greater things lie beyond the sticky old mat.
Roll it up and leave it behind.
What is God calling forth from you? Where in your life do you need the courage to stand up and walk? May the oil of grace cover you today, releasing yourself into the arms of the One who calls you forth.