Getting Back on the Road

Ever find yourself needing a kick-start?  Someone or something to jump you back into motion after being sidetracked or distracted?   I once heard a keynote speaker at a conference say “the road of life is filled with many interesting way places.”  His point was that as we travel down life’s highway we can pull off into a rest area or scenic overlook with the best intentions of it only being for a moment, only to find ourselves still there later on in the future.  What we thought was only a simple momentary rest break as turned into a long-term, or even permanent address, for us and has kept us from continuing with our journey on down the road called life.

The same happens in our spiritual life as well.  Circumstances occur that get us distracted from our full and true purpose and we become stationary, even broke down, in place and fail to keep growing, keep learning, keep moving forward in our walk and mission.

1 Later Jesus went to Jerusalem for a special feast. 2 In Jerusalem there is a pool with five covered porches, which is called Bethesda in the Hebrew language. This pool is near the Sheep Gate. 3 Many sick people were lying on the porches beside the pool. Some were blind, some were crippled, and some were paralyzed [, and they waited for the water to move. 4 Sometimes an angel of the Lord came down to the pool and stirred up the water. After the angel did this, the first person to go into the pool was healed from any sickness he had]. 5 A man was lying there who had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw the man and knew that he had been sick for such a long time, Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be well?”

7 The sick man answered, “Sir, there is no one to help me get into the pool when the water starts moving. While I am coming to the water, someone else always gets in before me.”

8 Then Jesus said, “Stand up. Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was well; he picked up his mat and began to walk.

The day this happened was a Sabbath day.”

John 5:1-9 (New Century Version)

Christ’s healing of the crippled man at the pool is a perfect lesson for each of us.  The man had been sick his entire life, 38 years, and spent his entire existence laying beside the pool of water waiting for the opportunity, the chance, at being healed by its waters.  That chance always was just out of his reach as someone else would come and take advantage of the healing conditions of the water as it was touched by an angel.  We can only imagine his mental attitude as he was so close, yet so far away from his goal, all at the same time.   I imagine he was tired, defeated, even filled with a bit of self-pity and anger over his situation. The perfect conditions for a grand old pity party if ever there were one. Yet in the middle of all the defeat, all the brokenness, all the rejection and failure Christ steps into the picture.

Look at verse 6, “Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be well?”

Do you want to be well?   

There is no judging, no blame, no questions about why the man hadn’t managed to be healed in all of his 38 years of waiting by the water.  Simply a pure yes or no answer was all that was required in response to: “Do you want to be well?”

The man’s first immediate answer is to continue with his self-absorbed pity party and respond with his tale of woe and failure, of blaming others for taking his spot in the healing waters first.  He meets Christs question not with an answer but with an excuse.

Do you want to be well?

Friends don’t we do the same?   When Christ asks us a simple question that only needs a simple answer don’t we often respond with our own tale of excuses, self-pity and failure.  Do we not spend twice as much energy making excuses for ourselves instead of just answering the call of Christ?

Do you want to be well?

But my job is not want I want it to be, I’m not happy in it.

Do you want to be well?

Oh, but I’ve got all these bills that I need to pay Lord, I don’t think I’ll ever get out of debt.

Do you want to be well?

Oh my health is not what I want it to be Lord, you see I’ve got this thing……..

Do you want to be well?

Well, my kids are not doing what I want them to do, I just wish they would…..

Do you want to be well?

I’d love to go and serve you Lord, but I just don’t see the time or the way. I’ve got so much going on right now.

Do you want to be well?

You seeing the pattern here?  Every answer we give has the wrong person in it.  We get stuck using “me/I” instead of “you” when we answer Christ’s questions.  Like the man at the pool we have been waiting for some special stirring of the waters, a supernatural sign to touch and change our lives.  We’ve failed to simply just stand up and start walking for Christ.  We are sitting around lamenting our lives not being where we would like them to be yet we continue to sit around lamenting instead of doing the will of our Father.

We want the voice from the sky, the burning bush, the results on our fleece in the morning when really all we have to do is get up off our own rears and start walking. Christ has enabled us to live and serve him now, today in the present as we are, and we have responded by continuing to sit around waiting on the miracle we have convinced ourselves we deserve.

Do you want to be well?

We have the blessing of the Lord upon us as Christians.  We have the power to move mountains and tell the sun to stand still like our ancestors in the Bible were promised.  So what are we waiting for?  Why are we still sitting by the pool with the other lame and sick people when all we have to do is stand up and start walking.

I’ll see you back out on the road walking towards our true and final destination.

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About meicemen

Kind of ironic isn't it that you have to fit a few words about yourself into a small box..... I am so many things - a husband and father, an avid sports fan, coach, church planter in training. My blog A Million Points of Grace touches on many of these things that "make up me" and my Christian journey on this earth.
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One Response to Getting Back on the Road

  1. Mel says:

    Beautiful post!! These verses have been on my heart the past few days and I really like the revelation you shared here. He asks us one simple question and you’re right, we are full of excuses and reasons why and things we don’t have and think that we need. But it’s Him…He’s what we need all along- not someone to help put us in the pool or less people crowding the area and getting there first. Jesus is all we need…how often we linger, sometimes 38 years, on a distant and vague and faint hope instead. Thanks for a great post. 🙂

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