For the last few weeks, a bluebird has charged into my window. Over and over again he’s been flying head first into the pained glass. As annoyed as I’ve become, I’m very concerned about the beautiful bird’s physical condition. If he doesn’t stop, he could become injured or die.
After a little research, I discovered the blue bird is very territorial and wants to make sure other bluebirds aren’t setting up residence within a certain amount of space from their nest. This information is valuable to understanding the problem, but doesn’t help with resolving the issue.
Have you ever known someone who is stuck in the same pattern of life, striking at their own window with no possibility of changing? No matter how often you try to help them see beyond their own reflection, they keep charging into the same spot.
Denial of the reality of certain circumstances can cause us to strike a window. Expectations of how we perceive how life should turn out is another window striker. Both conditions usually cause the same depressing outcome.
Jesus came to set us free from continuing to strike our windows. In the fifth chapter of John, Jesus comes up to a man who had been disabled for thirty-eight years. Every day, the man makes his way to the Pool of Bethesda, waiting for the movement of the water. Every evening he leaves, with no change to his condition.
Then Jesus arrives and asks the man if he wants to be made well. Of course the man wants to be healed. But this is where it gets tricky. Jesus asks the man to pick up his mat and walk. You might ask what is so unusual about this request. Well, it’s the Sabbath, a day that work is totally forbidden by the religious community. And believe it or not, carrying a mat was considered work.
Also, by getting up and walking will change everything about this man’s life. Instead of spending every day at the pool, this man is walking into the unknown. Everything he puts his security in will be gone. Instead of going to the pool, he will be spending time sharing about his healing. His family may turn on him and his life will be filled with new experiences. All he knows will no longer exist.
But we do know one thing about this man. He was willing to leave his denial and expectations in the past and walk in faith. And because of this, his story has been recorded for eternity. Are you living in a certain state of denial that is keeping you from the life that Jesus wants for you? Are expectations chaining you to a life of fear and doubt? If so, look at Jesus, and take up your mat and walk.