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Move Forward

There are things in life that paralyze us. What we think. How we see ourselves. How other people see us.  The fear that was instilled when we were young. Our physical disability. The 7 o’clock news. They do if we believe they can. It’s our choice.

In John 5:2-9, Jesus asked a certain man who had been paralyzed for thirty-eight years, “Do you want to be healed?” The man’s reply described his fading hope in the midst of a seemingly impossible situation. Nobody was there to help him get in the water when the angel of God stirred it. And when he musters the strength to crawl towards the pool, somebody always beat him to it.  It does indeed look like a hopeless predicament. Oftentimes, our wrong tradition, wrong beliefs, even religion could put us in that same situation. Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was healed; he picked up his mat and walked! He came out of paralysis that crippled him since birth in the place of his encounter with the Son of God. He made a choice. He moved forward. He was never the same again.

Personal encounters with the Author of Life makes us more alive. God’s love is so powerful. In the place of our encounter with His heart our emotions are quickened in love. Our innermost being responds best to the surge of the living power that emanates from the very the heart of Him who loves us dearly.

The moment our spirit, soul and body come in complete alignment with the purposes of heaven something happens: we are launched further into our destiny. In an instance, we find our whole being empowered, our vision clarified and our hearts awakened with unquenchable passion. Whatever kept us in a state of paralysis had to give way to the immeasurable power of God.

God’s passion and choice for us is to take us out of paralysis and spark a movement. He wants to take us from immobility to motion, from motion to momentum, from momentum to movement and from movement into becoming an unstoppable force. The power from on high spurs us on. We have no option but to move forward.

The Hand and Heart of God

We sometimes make the mistake of thinking that the hands and heart of God are interchangeable.

A lot of people are offended because they do not understand the ways of God. In our lack of awareness we ask:

If God is all-powerful then why is there sickness and suffering?

Doesn’t God understand that this is important to me?

Why doesn’t He answer my prayers?

Why is He punishing me?

We whine and we kick; we see God’s actions (or lack thereof) and judge him at face value.

Let’s take the fall of Adam and Eve. When they sinned against God, He punished them by cursing them and their offspring and by driving them out of the Garden of Eden. God even sent a cherub to guard the garden so they wouldn’t be able to come back into the abundance of Eden. Didn’t that seem too much? They realized their mistake and felt sorry, didn’t they? Why did God have to kick them out- it was just one mistake!

If we stop there, we may be tempted to think that God was too harsh in His discipline. But if we look closer, God was actually guarding them. In the garden, there were two trees – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (the forbidden fruit of which Adam and Eve ate, causing the fall of men) and the tree of life (Genesis 2:8-9). The tree of life would give them everlasting life. When God forbade Adam to Eve to enter the garden after the fall, He actually intervened on their behalf to prevent them from eating of the tree of life; otherwise, they would have remained cursed forever.

In the same way, we may have experienced being frustrated or offended by God’s actions. We may have jumped to our conclusions about Him as a father to us. We may have felt doubts about His being tender and forgiving.

But, God, in the omnipotence of His ways will at all times have a good reason for His actions. We can trust that those reasons are for our own good- so much so that He calls Himself love.

In embracing this truth, we can stop calculating God’s deeds. We can avoid comparing ourselves to those who have been “more blessed” than we are. We can forego our self-righteousness that makes us think God prefers us over those we disapprove of. From there, the foundation of our trust and love for God would shift from His deeds to His very blameless nature. There is nothing bad or angry or spiteful about Him, and in that reassuring fact, we can find peace.

When we have that view of God, it is very hard to question and to take offense of His actions. The way His hands move no longer confounds us, and we end up finding ourselves witness and recipients to the perfect benevolence of His heart. It is there that we can find the confidence to say that it is His will to bless us.