When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” – John 5:6, NIV
In Jerusalem, there was a pool where the waters were sometimes stirred by an angel. The first person to get into the pool was instantly healed of whatever disability or disease they suffered from.
Because of this, many people who were disabled, ill, or suffering would lie close to the pool. They hoped by camping nearby; they could enter the water.
One man had stayed by the poolside for thirty-eight years. Yet despite his faithfulness, despite his hopes, despite his dreams, he never manages to get to the pool.
When Jesus shows up, the man sounds like he’s given up all hope.
“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” (John 5:7, NIV)
Seeing the compassion in the eyes of Jesus, maybe the man felt a stirring of hope for the first time in years. He may have expected Jesus to take him to the water. But Jesus issues a simple command instead, “Pick up your mat and walk.”
When you’ve been praying for healing for months or years, it can begin to feel like time is working against you. You might think, “It’s been two decades – my marriage isn’t going to be healed” or “My daughter’s struggled with drug addiction for sixteen years – she isn’t going to be healed.”
But time is no obstacle for Jesus. Whether it’s been three months or three decades, God can still breathe healing into your life and give you a beautiful new beginning.
Lord, I see the months and years passing, and I’m tempted to believe You’ve abandoned me. I’m tempted to lose faith that You will heal me. Oh, Jesus, intervene in my situation! Just like You had compassion over the invalid man, have compassion over me. Heal all of my broken, achy places. In Your precious name, Amen.