I love the story in John 5 about the man who waited for 38 years to get into the pool where miraculous healings happened when the waters were stirred up. It’s one of those short biblical stories that can be read in a few seconds and if you don’t really stop and digest it, it simply disappears in the text, as Jesus did when He slipped into the crowd after the healing. It fascinates me that somehow the man managed to get to the healing pool every day, that his friends perhaps carried him in to be sure he was there at the right time, but he never managed to get into the water. He never responded at just the right time. He told Jesus he couldn’t get in the water, well, because others got there first. I don’t know about you, but this story resonates with me. It reminds me of all the times I’ve waited for God to change me or do some miraculous thing in my life, only to sit and wait, sit and wait. Oh, sure, nearly every time that nothing happened I had an excuse. I could say that someone else got my promotion at work, or someone else wrote the book that sold millions, or someone else jumped ahead of me in line, but not one of those things would change my circumstances. Not one excuse could save the day!
Jesus asked the man, “Would you like to get well?” and it seems like an odd question. Of course he wants to get well. He’s been waiting 38 years to do so. Or, has be become so used to his own excuse about not taking any action to get into the pool that he simply lets the world pass him by? I’m quite aware that I have often just been paralyzed by my own fears to move, or even to ask God to help me take another step. I’ve been afraid of falling down in front of the world and discovering that I simply wasn’t worthy of the goal I had set. Here’s the thing! I believe that you and I are meant to get well. I believe that we are meant to get stronger and stronger and the only thing that prevents that from happening is our fear of moving closer to the water, to the stirring of the Holy Spirit, to the plan God has for our lives. Let’s not wait 38 years! Let’s not wait another day to let Jesus know that we truly do want to get well. In fact, we want it so much, that we will trust in His word that we must simply get up, roll up the mat that we’ve filled with excuses, and start to dance.
Whew! There’s no one ahead of you in line today. Get up and shout for joy! This year, we’re not making any excuses!