“The sick man answered Him, ‘Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me’ ” (John 5:7).

For the first time in many years, a group of soccer players walked on two feet. These homeless refugees lost their legs from bomb blasts, shootings, and machete attacks in Liberia’s civil war. The men are members of an international soccer team for disabled players and have used crutches to play the game.

In March 2016, thanks to the work of Christian charities, five men received free prosthetics. Samuel Eastman, who lost his leg when he was only fourteen years old, said, “It’s like a dream come true because we couldn’t afford it on our own.” One doctor commented, “These gentlemen are so appreciative of being able to have a leg. And then as you watch them and see them get up and moving, it’s more than heart-warming.”

One Sabbath, Jesus walked past a man who couldn’t walk. The paralytic had been disabled for thirty-eight years and hoped to be lifted into a nearby pool for healing. People believed an angel occasionally touched the waters and the first person in would be miraculously restored. When Christ asked the man, “Do you want to be made well?” he replied that no one was available to help him into the water.

But Jesus was not offering to help him into the pool; He was asking him to stand up and walk. It was an impossible request, but the paralytic’s faith latched onto the words of the Great Physician. He did not wait to feel healed; he simply obeyed the command of God.

This heart-warming story was meant for you. Do you find your life disabled by sin, by discouragement, or by addiction? Are you hoping someone will help you up? Jesus stands next to you and says, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” Will you stand up on both feet for Him?

Dear Jesus, in faith I reach out and clasp Your Hand in mine and choose to rise above the disabling circumstances of my life.

For Further Study: John 5:1–15; Isaiah 9:2; 1 John 1:7

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