“Do you want to get well?” John 5:6
Some how I keep coming back to this story. I think it is the third time this summer I have had a devotion on it and our pastor did a sermon on it. The story of the invalid that couldn’t make it to the pool so he could be healed.
I have a million questions about this story. Why didn’t he ever ask for help? He had been an invalid for 38 years. Had he been coming to the pool for that long? And how did he get there, day after day, in the first place? Was he homeless and lived there? The way he tells it, he can’t get to the pool before anyone else. Why didn’t he just sit right by the pool and fall in when the waters churned? Duh! I really don’t get it. I mean what was the guy thinking?
Jesus asked him a point-blank question. “Do you want to get well?” That is one loaded question! “Do you want to get well?” WOW! That’s all I can say. Do I? Do I really want to be more godly? Do I really want to reach more people for Jesus? Do I really want to turn from my sins? Ok, enough with the “really’s.” Am I so comfortable with the way things are I don’t want to change? Am I scared of change? I have to decide the answer to this question for myself and it is a question I need to ask daily.
Next in the story comes the excuse. I can almost hear him whining, “I have no one to help me into the pool then the water is stirred.” Put a southern drawl to that and you get “stirrrred.” We would have said, “Ain’t got no one to help me.” So, what are my excuses? And how stupid do they really sound? Really? I used “really” again. Sorry!
Then, Jesus said, ” Get up!…and walk.” Man, He can be straight to the point. In other words, “No more excuses. I am giving you the abilities to do what I want you to do. Go do it! Stop sitting here whining and complaining and go!” I can almost hear Him adding, “because I said so!” You learn not to argue with that here in the South.
I have been inspired by a gentleman that has come to speak at our church. I can not remember his name at the moment. It will come to me this afternoon. He is so full of joy. His story is just the opposite of this invalid. He has no excuses. Oh, he did at first but he got over it and got up and walked. Well, more like wheeled. You see he was injured in a football game when he was in high school. When he was hit, it broke his neck. He is a quadriplegic. He has some use of his arms, but not much. He went through his time of anger, denial and depression. Then he decided he could continue to be miserable and make everyone miserable with him or he could recognize how God could work through him and get up and walk. He chose to walk.
That is what I want to do. Get up and walk. No more excuses. As the old Nike commercials used to say, “Just Do It.” It’s that simple. So, here I go…I’m getting up!
Father, I am getting up now and I am going to walk. No more excuses. Help me to follow Your lead.
Read: John 5:1-9