There are times when I feel very alone. And its a very tough road to walk through this labyrinth of life without knowing for sure that you have another solid, breathing, warm-blooded body there to understand and care for you...I thought about this when I read John 5.
I think that this is how the lame man that sat by the pool at Bethesda felt. He had been there for 38 years. There wasn't a single person who saw his state and had compassion enough to help him into the healing waters. The man was lame, so moving wasn't the easy message from brain to limb that we all take for granted. It took time for him. Too much time. So much time, that each year, as he mustered enough strength to make his way to the waters stirred by angels wings, someone else would cut in line. His chance at healing would get stolen. And in front of him all he saw was another year of immobility. Another year of stagnation. Another year with no hope for change and forward movement. People probably laughed at him. They judged him. Every year, for 38 of them, it was the same thing, the same rut, the same hopelessness. Until Jesus came...
There have been times when I felt the same way that the lame man at Bethesda must've felt. Lost in loneliness. No one to talk to for help. And that, dear friends, is a very scary place to be. But Jesus, in His beauty and majesty, was my cure. Just like He was to the man who sat at the pool at Bethesda. Jesus is the answer. We all have some sort of infirmity. Because of the sickness of our sin nature. Jesus is the answer. He has this special way of teaching us that He's the only One that can fill the void and be our medicine. Jesus asked the man, "Wilt thou be made whole?" This question is so heavy and strong. We can get so used to being lame, that we rely on it. We use the idea of being lame as a crutch to uphold our disabled lives. We get used to it and we revel in it. Knowing that we hate the state that we are in but its been so long; how can there be a hope for change? But Jesus says, "Wilt thou be made whole?" Being made whole holds a certain responsibility. When you're whole and healed you must walk uprightly. There is an element of insanity in the idea of a perfectly nimble man living the life of the lame. When you're healed you must stand tall, walk uprightly, live righteously.
The lame man then said, "Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled to put me in the pool..." But Jesus is saying, "Rise up and walk." You don't need any other person. All you need is me. Can't you trust me? Can't you see how much I care about you? Can't you cast these cares on me? I'm willing to take them from you.
Jesus is telling all of us to rise up and walk. Walk with me. Stand tall. Stand with me. Stand on my Word. Trust me.
Are we willing to come up higher with God? To let go of the infirmity that we've lived with so long that we've learned to cling to it? The infirmity of sin is so deceiving. We don't need sin to feel complete. Its very nature will deplete us. But if we can gather enough courage to just trust in Jesus so much so that we can stand on the first leg...and then the second...and then to take one step and then another, then we would find that the richness of walking upright with Jesus is nothing compared to what we thought we'd gain with the help of man. Jesus is saying, I'm all you need. Trust me. Rise, take thy bed, and walk.