Good morning, DearHeart.
When I was growing up there was a song about an attitude adjustment that always made my dad laugh all
over (except when he was after Russ to give him an attitude adjustment. I don’t remember Steve or I having that effect on him – grin).
Maybe it was a Hank Williams, Jr song (?).
Sometimes our sickness comes from an attitude. Sometimes physical ailments take us out.
It is known that the first step to overcoming a problem or situation is to simply admit you have a problem.
One day, Jesus went to the pool area where crowds of sick people gathered. This Bethesda pool, had a reputation for its healing qualities. It was said that an angel would stir the waters and the first one into the pool would receive their healing.
There He talked to a man, who had been an invalid for thirty eight years.
Long years of waiting.
Failure, again and again.
Thirty eight years of doing the same thing every day. Approximately 13,870 days stuck in the same condition.
Then Jesus shows up and asks:
“Would you like to get well?” (John 5:6, NLT)
Excuse me, Jesus, I mean no disrespect … but isn’t it obvious that this man would desperately desire to be healed?
I find the man’s response interesting. He didn’t jump on the chance … no pun intended … and yell,
“YES!! please help me get well!!!!”
Instead, he tells Jesus why he has not yet received his healing …
“I have no one to help me”;
“Everyone gets there before me”;
“I’m never the first one”;
“My timing is off”;
The man’s response displayed his hopelessness, as 38 years must have felt like an eternity. But it also revealed his despair,
and even perhaps, a victim mentality.
He had lost all determination to do what was necessary to change his situation.
In reading of this man, I cannot help but wonder if the greater healing was not so much the physical healing, but a healing of the way he viewed his situation.
Could it be in asking the question, Jesus needed to confirm the man wanted change? After thirty eight years, had this man come to accept, maybe enjoy even, sitting by the pool each day with the others. He surely had accepted the idea that it was a “first come, first serve” kind of atmosphere by the pool.
Jesus came to defy that mentality, for He came to serve all.
Could it be that Jesus was asking this man about his desire to change? Was He asking the man if he was willing to do something to change his situation?
Rather than discuss the man’s response, Jesus tells the man, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”
Jesus does not touch the man, nor lend him a hand to get up.
Jesus simply tells him what to do.
The man’s healing lay in his willingness to do what he was told.
He had to help himself up.
He had to obey.
Change may require action on our part. Even when it is hard, it is so worth it.
Examine your stuff.
Change your thoughts.