Today we want to introduce you to one of our breakout session speakers, Dawn Walker. Dawn is the author of The Daddy Gap, and founder and Director of Single Parent Missions in Michigan. We love Dawn and we appreciate her wisdom and insight. To find out more about her ministry or subscribe to her daily Hope Notes encouragement messages for single parents, visit singleparentmissions.com. One of her hope notes really struck a chord with me the other day and so I wanted to share it with you. I hope you find some encouragement to start your weekend off well! Much love and prayers...
Single Parent Missions
"A daily message of encouragement for all single parents"
Stuck (Healing part 1)
"When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, 'Do you want to get well?' The sick man said, 'Sir, when the water is stirred, I don't have anybody to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in.'" -John 5:6-8 (MSG)
I confess, I resonate way too much with this man. I spent many years of my life stuck and looking for hope in the wrong places. And I understand that "stuck" is the common story of many single parents.
At first, it seems Jesus has a lot of nerve asking this man if he wants to get well. He knew the man had been an invalid for 38 years! Plus the man has taken up residence on a mat near a healing pool that was supposed to make people better, so clearly he wished for healing. Only Jesus could have known the despair in this man's heart as he watched others come to the pool, get healing and leave while he remained stuck in the same condition, unhealed.
You can tell the man fully believed he was stuck and hopeless because when Jesus asked if he wanted to get well he didn't even say yes. Instead, he proceeded to explain to the Son of God why he can't get well, why it's impossible. His excuse? "I don't have anybody." What he means is, he feels forsaken, like no one cares about him or wants to help him. Even God has forgotten him, he feels. If there was ever a man who had lowered his eyes to dwell on his circumstances and let them prevent him from living a life of freedom, this was him. He complains, blames, feels sorry for himself and settles for a pathetic existence.
I love that Jesus meets him right where he's at, but has no intention of letting him stay there. Jesus doesn't ask the man if he wants to get well because he's ignorant of the man's wishes, he asks him in that precise way to remind the man that getting well is a choice. Jesus will do for the man what he can't do for himself, but he won't do for him what he can do for himself, and that is to take an action step toward healing.
Jesus said to him, "Get up, take up your bed, and walk." And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. -John 5:9-10
Did you notice that Jesus didn't rub healing mud on the man or carry him to the water? He commanded him to get up. Before the man was healed 'at once,' he had to make the effort of getting up. I don't know how easy that was, but if he was an invalid, it was probably a bit of a challenge. Probably embarrassing and risky and possibly even painful.
Is there an area of your life where you are stuck, maybe have been stuck for years? Decades? Does it seem so impossible to have healing and freedom in that area that you've resigned yourself to staying there? Jesus doesn't want to leave you there. He didn't go to the cross so that you could stay stuck, he went so you could be set free...fully free! He offers the same invitation to you as he did to that invalid by the pool. There is always a way out, a path to healing...if you want it.
Maybe it's confessing that you are deep in debt and asking for help and a plan to get out. Maybe it's attending your first AA or NA meeting. Maybe it's putting software on your computer that holds you accountable from visiting sites you don't need to visit. Chances are your initial steps to healing, much like this man's, will be embarrassing and risky too. Are you willing to fight that battle...that short term pain to get to the freedom on the other side?
I hope this man's story gives you hope that through Jesus, it's not too late or too impossible for you to get the healing you've longed for too.