On Sunday night we were reading the story of the healing at the pool, from John, Chapter 5. As the story goes, Jesus had gone up to Jerusalem for one of the feasts, and he was walking through the pool of Bethesda, where many disabled people hung out. It was said that once a day, an angel stirred the water of the pool, and if you could get into the water, you would be healed. So this was a popular hangout for those with infirmities. Jesus came upon a man lying by the pool who had been an invalid for 38 years. He asked the fellow an interesting question, “Do you want to get well?”
And the guy had an even more interesting answer, “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.”
Okay … So this guy made the effort to get to the pool every day, but when the water got stirred, he could never get into it for the healing.
Seems to me, if I had someone help me get to the pool, after 38 years, I’d be asking them to stick around one day and help me get into the water. Or something? But the guy had determination, he hadn’t given up … he was continuing to make the effort to get there.
At first the guy’s response sounds like he’s a victim to his situation, but then we see the evidence of perseverance – he continues to come to the pool, in spite of the lack of healing. I believe this guy has some character. How difficult would it be to continue dragging yourself to those waters day in and day out with no positive results?
There are always two ways to look at our situations. We can be the victim, blaming others for what is going on in our lives. Sometimes it just feels good to have that pity party for ourselves – but does it do us any good? Do we feel better afterwards? Are we any closer to Jesus? Are we any closer to freedom or healing?
Or we can be the victor … taking responsibility for our actions and our reactions. Although no wrong doing on our part caused the situation, we are looking for a positive way to remedy it.
Paul tells us: Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14)
So … am I a victim – living in the unfairness of my past, or a Victor, straining towards what is ahead!
Father, help me to let my actions and my life portray the victory that I have already won through YOU! Thank you that YOU are the Prize … life eternal with you.
I Love You Jesus!
In Your Name I Pray,
od Bless You!
The Choices You Make Today …
Will Affect Your Tomorrow!