A little boy was playing outside, baseball cap in place, ball and bat in his hands. He threw the ball up, swung and missed. “Strike one,” he said, “but I’m the greatest hitter in the world.” He threw the ball up again, swung and missed again. “Strike two,” he said, “but I’m the greatest hitter ever.” He threw the ball up again, swung and missed for the third time. It was now strike three. “Wow!” he said, “I’m the greatest pitcher in the world!” Thinking positively is good; but sometimes we need more than positive thinking. Sometimes we need a touch from God.
In John 5, Jesus visited the pool at Bethesda. It had a sea of disabled, hurting people there, many of whom had been there for many years. They were there because an angel would occasionally stir the waters of the pool, and the first person entering afterwards would be healed. These hurting people were desperate, and this pool was their last hope.
No one is exempt from pain; ask Tony Dungee, former coach of the Super Bowl Champion Colts. After his son’s suicide, he said, “It’s easy to believe that God will provide when the refrigerator is full, but it’s a different story when the refrigerator is empty.” But in our darkest hour, even when the refrigerator is empty, there is hope in Jesus!
As Jesus arrived, he visited an invalid that had been there for decades. He had lost hope; nothing would ever change. Have you been there? Although Jesus knew the invalid had been there 38 years, he still asked, “Do you want to get well?” Wasn’t the answer obviously YES?
Surprisingly, I’ve discovered that not everyone wants to get well. For example, some people harbor bitterness and unforgiveness that has stolen their joy, but they’re not ready to change. Others have grown spiritually cold and have felt God’s chastening hand, but they’re not ready to “get well.” What’s the cause of your pain? Are you ready to get well?
Instead of answering Jesus, the man started giving excuses as to why he wasn’t well; “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool. While I am coming, another steps down before me”. It was as if he was saying, “I’m a victim, I have no one!” Excuses come so easily, “If only my family situation was different, if only I had a different spouse. If only, if only.” But even if others got you in your situation, they are not the cause of why you’re still there. You’re there because you have not yielded control of your life to Jesus Christ who can make you well.
Jesus told the man to do the impossible. He told this cripple of 38 years to, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And guess what? The man obeyed and immediately was made well. His faith in Christ had made him well.
Regardless of your situation, faith in Christ can make you well. So come to Him today. Give up the excuses. Make a total commitment of your life to Christ and trust God to do the impossible.
Thank God, there is a balm in Gilead!