Today I am thankful for my friends who point me towards Jesus. God used one of my dear and special friends who shared that God really spoke to her with this section of scripture (in a really unique, but so like God way), and I couldn't shake it, either. So glad I didn't let it go.
The Healing at the Pool: John 5:2-11, 14
“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
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.
(v. 14) Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”
I'm sure Jesus did this for some very intentional reasons, because in the verses I left off is some stuff about healing on the sabbath. So I always thought that was the point. See? Jesus healed on the Sabbath, so that means I can go to Target!
But here is what God had for me in this passage of scripture this morning.
1. He DOES have time for me, but it's all about His timing.
The world is full of "sick" people, but Jesus singled out this man. (Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.) Even though it took 38 years for full healing (which seemed like forever in the man's mind, I'm sure), it was His perfect timing.
2. JESUS WAS RIGHT THERE and this man was putting his hope in a method!
This was probably the biggest thing.
The man was so focused on the healing, that he was missing the HEALER. Jesus was right there, asking him if he wanted to get well. RIGHT THERE. And the man said to him, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
This is so me. So me. Not that there isn't a time and a place for getting the right "help," but I can focus so much on the tactics and the theories and the methods, and the fact that they just aren't available to me or impossible or are beyond my reach.
And I miss who is standing RIGHT there, right in front of me, offering His hand of healing.
3. One thing at a time
This part is hard for me. The pick up your mat and walk part. Because I do feel like I'm trying. And it seems like it's not that simple, or maybe I'm missing something. But today, I feel like it just said, "Believe me just enough to obey me right now."
Jesus can heal us even if we don't have much faith, but we need to believe Him enough to obey Him. And He so far hasn't asked me to do giant things like "pick up my mat and walk," but a bunch of little (yet significant) things.
This seems so hopeless and the fact that while my head KNOWS you can heal me my heart maybe no longer believes it. But I am going to trust what I know is truth and obey you one step at a time. And I am going to trust that all those little steps will add up to complete freedom.
4. We haven't made such a mess of ourselves that he isn't willing to help.
I almost missed this. So thankful I kept going.
My first thought is that this is the impossible problem. I can't seem to stop. And while that is true, I am going to find the hope in here that, he man's sickness was caused by his own sin. I'm not saying that individual physical illness is directly caused by our own sin as a generalization-(see John 9) but in this case...
Despite the fact that it was his own doing, Jesus healed anyway.
The stuff I keep going back to is a choice. It really is. Nobody put it on me, it's not something physical I was born with, it's just a choice to sin. But Jesus is willing to heal me anyway. I can think that I did it (true), what I get is what I deserve (true), and Jesus won't bother with me because he is so disgusted with me (LIE!). I did do it, I do deserve what I'm going through, but Jesus loves me so much he's willing to make a whole bunch of people mad and heal me on the Sabbath.
And Jesus, do I ever need your healing! Thank you, Jesus, for standing right there offering it.