“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.” – John 5:7
We live in a day and age where feelings of discouragement, loneliness, and jealously can be triggered in a moments time. I know I get like this sometimes. Especially lately. This blog post finds me in a (very long) season of waiting. One where prayer after prayer isn’t answered yet … one where I see the answer to my prayer literally happening to everyone around me … but not me. And because of this, I’ve had small moments of self-pity, as we all sometimes do. And in one of those moments, I remember saying, “Why does it always happen to everyone else, but never me?”
Though my words were spoken out of emotion, and I trust that in God’s timing, He will answer my prayer, these words are very real feelings for many of us. Whether these words are uttered over something like a job promotion, or a financial breakthrough, or maybe because healing that hasn’t come yet, we have all felt like this at one time or another.
We find in John 5 the story of a man who had been paralyzed for 38 years. 38 years! Can you imagine this? I’m not even 38 years old, let alone being able to imagine being paralyzed for this long. In this man’s day, there was a legend- a superstition really- that an angel would come and stir up the waters at the Pool of Bethesda, and when that happened, the first person inside the water would be healed. It was around this pool that the paralyzed man, along with many others who were blind and disabled, would gather and wait for their opportunity to be healed.
Jesus met this man one day at the Pool of Bethesda-which literally translates, “House of Mercy”. And when Jesus saw the man there and learned of his condition, Jesus asked the man in verse 6, “Do you want to get well?” To that, the man 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.”
Does this sound like you? Every time you want something, or are praying desperately for something, you feel like you get trampled on or beat to the prize. Like when you are desperately praying for a new job, and your co-worker gets a promotion. And when the next promotion comes up, another co-worker gets it. After a while, it all gets frustrating. And while all this time this paralyzed man was waiting by the Pool to get healed by a superstition he believed, Jesus stepped in during year 38 of the man being paralyzed, and He offered healing. This man didn’t need a Pool, he needed Jesus.
I believe this is the lesson we as Christians need to learn today. Are we still going to want and pray for that promotion? Absolutely. Are we still going to plead with God for healing? You bet. But when we’re left waiting-maybe for 38 minutes or maybe for 38 years-that’s where Jesus wants to step in and meet you. It’s in that waiting where He is standing with arms wide open saying, “Come on in. Let me be enough for you.”
It’s hard when opportunities and time pass us by- believe me…I’m in the valley of waiting with you. But it’s not until we find that we want Jesus more than we want anything else that we’ll ever truly be satisfied. And I’ve found that in this waiting process, waiting for God’s best is better than any quick fix or substitute we could ever really want. Let’s keep steadfast in prayer, our heart’s seeking His truth, and let’s offer praise for all He’s already given us. If we trust in Him, wait on His timing, and find our hope and strength in Him, He will provide us with everything we need in time. And until that, He’ll provide us with Himself. And that is worth more than anything anybody else has.
Until next time,