Carrying Our Mats
“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’ At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. ‘The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ John 5:8-11.
Awhile back I was invited to speak at our church’s Women’s Winter Warmer in front of a wonderful group of women. The topic was comfort, and I knew for this to be a blessing my words had to come from God. I originally thought I would speak on the comfort God gave me daily when navigating five years of terminal illnesses in my family. During the night leading up to that event, I felt God impress upon my heart to share the dangers of turning to the flesh for comfort. Many of you are aware that when my daughter was knee deep in drugs I turned to secret spending as a means of running away. After three years, God forced the situation and I told my husband the reality of our financial standing…a mess to say the least. Through God’s grace and my husband’s love and commitment to me, we didn’t just get through it but we triumphed over it.
I knew God wanted me to share my journey with the group. He wanted me to be transparent with the cracked and dirty mat for which I had gotten up and walked away from. He wanted me to walk up on that stage with my mat under my arm and walk it out in testimony. His desire was for me to declare that the man who made me well told me to carry my mat with me so others could relate. I remember the evening before I spoke I was beginning to feel nervous about the number of ladies at the event. Sweetly and faithfully God spoke into my spirit, ‘Bless just one and my will be done.’ That gave me the confidence and security that I needed to settle my spirit. I tucked my mat under my arm, said a final prayer and walked up on stage. After my speech, a woman in tears met me in the corner of the room with the same mat tucked under her arm. Her story was my story but she had just recently rolled up her mat at the insistence of Jesus. She will be fine…she will be free…she will be triumphant because the Lord has cured her. She was the one God spoke to me about blessing through sharing my mat.
We all have had those ‘flesh things’ in our lives that have tempted us, molded us and defined us. We are all in need of a Savior who not only cures us but saves us from ourselves. No one has ever lived a perfect life but the man who seeks to save us…Jesus Christ. It is through His cures that we can carry our mats declaring God as the reason for our freedom. When we hide our mats from others we are only obeying the first part of God’s command. We turn to Him, turn it over to Him but must be transparent in Him. There is no comfort for others in hiding our mats.
Don’t just get through your mat journey, triumph over it by sharing your testimony.
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