April 16 Devotional

Jesus saith unto him, ‘Rise, take up thy bed, and walk’” (John 5:8).  Imagine hearing these words after having lain in the same spot for thirty-eight years.  Jesus was asking this man to do the impossible!  There had not been a time for the past thirty-eight years that this man had been able to physically stand on his own.  His own testimony was that he could not even roll to get in the water when it moved there at the pool of Bethesda.  He did not have a person to help him, and in his mind, that was the reason he had not been healed.

We often think there are things that are impossible for us to do.  As a result we stay “laying” on the sideline with our bed under us.  I have found myself answering the question about how we got started in Deaf ministry.  Just last night, a younger person asked me if I had gone to college to learn Sign Language, and then asked how long it took me to learn Sign Language.  The truth is that some of the greatest truths I learned … some of the greatest life skills I have learned outside of college!  As I began to answer this young person’s question, I realized that I had no business ever learning Sign Language.

God touched my heart with the thought that it was not fair for a Deaf person to die without having seen a clear presentation of the Gospel in Sign Language.  Because of that, I found a Sign Language book in the local library and began to memorize the Signs to explain the Gospel.  I then stumbled and bumbled through that presentation with the first Deaf person I met.  He trusted Christ as his Savior!  As soon as my Pastor heard that, he put me in charge of the Deaf ministry!  WAIT  … I cried!  He didn’t listen, and I found myself standing in front of a Deaf group trying to teach the Bible with all of my 150 Signs I had memorized.

Was I ready?  NO!  Was I good?  NO!  But Jesus had told me to “Take up my bed and walk.”  I wonder today what “bed” you are laying on, waiting to become qualified to use?  The key to the story above of this man lame for thirty-eight years; and the key to my story of beginning in Deaf ministry; and your key to serving God … is not the man … me … or you.  The key is the power of God to use the foolish things … the weak things … the limited things for His glory.  You see, when God puts His hand on something, it is no longer dependent on its own strength.  It is the hand of God on someone, or something that gives it the power to do what He wants it to do.  Stop lying on that bed today, and put it in the hand of God and WALK!