1After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. 3In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. 5One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” 7The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.” 8Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” 9At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. Now that day was a sabbath.
I am tired, so very tired. It all started a year ago in March. It has been 18 months since I retired. Our nation and the world have been dealing with this pandemic even longer. I have tried doing all the right things-isolation, getting vaccinated, limited my excursions, and staying out of crowds. I have tried to be responsible not to do any harm to those around me. I accept God’s word where I need to be compassionate to all those around me. The Apostle Paul reminds us that because we love our neighbors we will never do anything intentionally to harm them. I try to live by those words every day. If we are honest with ourselves it is a challenge to do all we can do to take care of ourselves and others. And it is a 24/7 responsibility that at times has taken a toll on me and perhaps all of us. I am tired.
I am more like the man who has tried to get into the pool for 38 years and has failed. It is frustrating to have a need and find challenges to have those needs met. NO, it has not been 38 years but at times it feels like that. It has been a long time and truthfully it feels to me like it is longer than 18 months. I say all of this and it sounds like I am complaining, fussing, and frustrated. Well, the truth is I am complaining and I am fussing, and I am frustrated. I am much like the man waiting. But complaining is not the solution. There is a better solution.
For thirty-eight years this man is waiting to be healed. During this time in his life, it seems that he had lost all hope, focus, and faith. When Jesus comes to him, Jesus asked him if he wanted to be made well. Perhaps surprised by the question, the man begins to complain about his situation instead of anticipating the solution.
When we focus only on the problem we will miss the solution. When our life situations become the center of our attention, we miss God in the center of our life situations. Just as this man needed to do, we need to focus on Jesus and we will have our miracle.
So, the question is. . . Do you want to be made well?