Monday, August 13, 2012

Confession #19 - Clean up this mess!

One night while tucking my daughter into bed, I reminded her that tomorrow morning she must clean up her room and put all her toys away.  She asked me if I would clean it up for her.  I said yes but only if she helps.  Then she sweetly replied, "Mommy, I'm going to pray to God to put them away for me so when I wake up the mess will be clean."  I giggled and thought how cute and said, "Well, I'm sorry honey, but God doesn't clean up our messes."  Funny thing, as soon as I verbalized that statement clarity came rushing into my mind. 

You see, it wasn't too long before that night that I would spend my prayer sessions begging God to heal me.  I have a laundry list of health nuisances and issues that I frankly can just do without.  From obesity to diabetes to back problems I would pray for God to heal me.  I reasoned that if God could heal the woman from the story in Mark 5, because of her faith, than He could heal me as well.  The story goes:

A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Mark 5:24-34

I have the faith that this woman displayed.  All I needed was an opportunity to catch a piece of His rope in my hand.  So I would ask God to figuratively send down the edge of Jesus' robe.  And then I would claim the healing on my life and expect that by morning all my aliments would be gone.  Now let me also say that by nature I do not buy these so-called "name-it-n-claim-it" philosophies.  But I do believe with all my heart that my Lord is completely able to heal me and as a matter of fact I believe He is also willing to heal me.  With that being said, I hope you're not anxiously holding your breath for a miraculous story because as of yet, I'm still suffering from the same issues.  However I've learned a very important lesson from the process. 

I've learned that God doesn't clean up our messes just because we ask in faith.  Frankly, I am the person to blame for the messes I've made in my life that have lent to some or even most of my so-called aliments.  I can't just expect God to clean that up if I'm not willing to do some work.  Remember the story in John 5 about the invalid who lied on his mat for thirty-eight years at the pool of Bethesda waiting for the waters to be stirred up for healing only to have someone else beat him into the pool time and time again.  He complained to Jesus that he had no one to help him into the water.  Interesting that Jesus asks him a simple question, "Do you want to get well?"  John 5:6

Do I want to get well?  It's resonating in my ears as I type.  The bleeding woman who reached out for Jesus' robe, well she was at the end of her rope.  Having exhausted every human method to get well she could find, when finally, in faith, she reached out to God.  The invalid man, he lay there on his mat feeling sorry for himself waiting for this unknown person to do the work for him. 

I realized that I have been lying here on my "mat" waiting for God to carry me into the water instead of putting my faith into action and allowing God to do the rest.  Are you like me, still lying here on this "mat" praying to be taken into the water?  Well your faced with the same simple question, "Do you want to get well?"  It's a simple yes or no.  "Do you want to get well?"   "Do you want to get well?"   "YES?"  Then pick up your mat and walk (John 5:8)- put your faith into action and make it happen.  "NO?"  Then lie there waiting for someone to pick you up and throw you into the water.  

We can't lie around waiting for God to clean up our messes.  If our mess seems too big to clean up just remember as long as your doing your part, like I was willing to do for my daughter, God will help.  If not, you may be lying on that stinkin' mat for a long, long time....

"Dear Lord, please forgive me for lying around waiting for you to clean up my mess.  Let me get to the point where I can answer the question "Do you want to get well with a resounding Yes!"  Let me put my faith into action and pick up my mat.  And dear Father, help my sisters in Christ find the strength, courage and faith in action to pick up their mats along with me. In Jesus precious name I pray." AMEN!
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