Ten years ago I was a hopeless addict, barely making it through each day. And then I finally let the Hope of Christ into my life, and my trajectory was radically altered. I was stuck in a way of living that was a lot like the paralyzed man in today’s reading.
Put yourself in his position. You have been crippled your entire life, and your friends drop you in front of Jesus, who looks to you and says, because of those friends, he forgives you. Then he tells you to get up, take your mat, and go home.
Do you believe him? You might as well. So you stand to your feet for the first time in your life! And you feel the strength in your legs, and you can’t believe it but at the same time, it is the easiest thing to believe.
You pick up that mat and you run home, praising God the whole way. You tell the story over and over and over again, showing people the dirty, filthy mat you sat on for years and years. but how in a moment, God wrapped in flesh looked at you and said Get up! Your sins are forgiven your affliction has been healed now go, go, take your mat and be a miracle in motion.
That mat represents your past. For me, that mat was my addiction. I was stuck on it, no matter how gross or how filthy it got. Shameful, humiliating, embarrassing… and I couldn’t get off it.
But Jesus healed me, and now I can carry that mat—the past, as told in my story—and I can show it to people. I don’t live on it anymore; it serves God now.
What’s your mat? What are you doing with it?
Have you gotten off your mat, picked it up, and decided to be a miracle in motion?
God doesn’t save us to be stagnant, and he doesn’t save us just for ourselves. God did a miracle in you so you can now be a part of someone else’s miracle. God is purposeful, he is intentional. He has a plan, and it’s not for you to sulk around acting sorry for yourself. It’s not for you to sit around on top of your “mat” and just let your miracle go to waste.
Over the next ten days, I’m going to tell you a little bit of my story and show you how radical life change is possible not just for me but also for you. Hope is here, and hope is alive.