Not long ago, Skyler (not her real name) dealt with a situation that could have hindered her graduation from recovery. It also held the real possibility that she might go to prison.
She sought God, prayed, told the truth in the matter, and thought she’d jeopardized her past eleven months at the recovery center.
I had no idea what she did wrong, nor do I need to know. Apparently at some point, she caught herself inside of a secret, one that held her captive. It was as if she was being paralyzed by her lies becoming an invalid to sin. But when the truth came out, she owned it!
Her story reminded me how I have done such things. I have sinned! I have jeopardized, compromised, and struggled to remain faithful to God! That which I want to do, doesn’t always happen. But when I do sin, I pray that I own it, and repent!
Skyler struggled too, and fought with her new self in Christ, because her old self tried to rise up. And in this case, she gave in, committing a major infraction. One that she wept over, regretted, and wanted to turn from. She repented, and came clean before the leaders at the center, and before the Lord. It was heavy with consequences, heavy with reality.
She prayed with me during both of the services following the horrible-terrible and she broke down like a baby, shedding tears with me during those encounters.
During our chat, her words were cradled in sorrow and repentance, not for getting caught (even if that were the case at first), but for failing God. She longed to please Him. She was like a bruised reed in need of healing. She also longed for favor and forgiveness from God, and from the staff, too!
Well, on the third Sunday, she was still there, and hugged me with the embrace of that same toddler, and she held me forever, whispering, “I’m graduating! I’m going home! The Lord did this! The Lord!”
Her story reminded me of the man at the healing pool in John 5 who was an invalid for thirty-eight years, who Jesus asked, “Do you want to be healed?” And this man answered, “No one will help me get to the pool when it stirs up.” Now take note, this is when Jesus gives the man this instruction, “Get up. Take up your bed. And walk.”
At once the man was healed and did just as Jesus told him. Not in five minutes. Or an hour. Or in two days. But at once!
This seems to be a great way for us to live. We should get up (at once) when we fail or fall or when we become an invalid to sin. And when Christ speaks to our hearts, we should walk in obedience to Him. We should repent and turn from our sin!
Now the healing for this man was awesome to learn about, as it was to learn of Skyler’s healing and wholeness in her situation. But the whole event in the Bible pointed the man to the Savior. As did Skyler’s situation. She saw Jesus! She heard Him! She wanted to honor Him with her walk!
And this is a great part, that later in the day at the temple Jesus saw the man, and spoke this to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.”
I love how Christ heals, restores, and forgives! Mostly I love how He saves!!
As for my dear friend, she learned a great lesson, “To get up. To take up her mat (take care of things with truth). And to walk. As well, as to go and sin no more.”
She hugged me goodbye after service that day with tears of joy, “I’m going to miss you so much. You have challenged me to live in obedience to God, to walk in truth. And I plan to do just that! God did this! Did you hear me? God did this for me!”
My prayer is she wins, walks, and shines for Christ in her journey. In her choices. In her life. In her words. In her actions. In her obedience. In her pursuit of living with faith in Him!
And I pray this for anyone who needs to hear from Jesus, that you/me/we will find the healing from the paralysis of sin! That we would go, and sin no more!