Everyone loves a good story! And everyone loves the action! The fights, arguments, climactic points. These form the key elements of the story. Settings, character building, and description are necessary, but they aren’t usually what we remember.
But our lives are not lived like stories. We don’t get to skip to the action, to the climax. Sometimes parts of out lives go on and on without resolution. Days, months, years, decades all pass, and we still wait for the solution.
So it was with the lame man in John 5. We are told that there was a pool in Bethesda where an angel would come down and “stir” the water. The first person in the water after the angel moved it, would be healed. We don’t know how often the angel came, but there were a great many people.
When Jesus passed by, he found a man who had been there a great while. By the end of the story, Jesus heals the man and he leaves joyfully.
Those are the main ideas. That’s the plot. That’s the climax and resolution.
If we skim the story, we miss out on little details. We lose sight of the reality that was that lame man’s. In verse 5, we learn, that the man had been lame for 38 years. It is half of a verse. Barely noticeable to us as readers. But I assure you that it meant a great deal to that man.
38 years of his life he had been lame.
38 years of struggle. 38 years of pain. Was he able to find work at all? Or did he just beg? Did he go hungry at times? How long had he waited at that pool? How many times had he tried to crawl using only his arms? How many people had he seen be healed at that pool while he was too slow to get in? How many nights had he cried himself to sleep wondering if his life had purpose? How many people mocked him for his infirmity? How many times did he wish he could walk?
38 years of his life
And we blow past it in half a sentence.
He spent all those years waiting for healing. Waiting for the power of God. At the end of those years he was still by the pool. He hadn’t given up.
Did you catch that?
After 38 years he hadn’t lost hope.
I challenge you, whatever you are going through in your life, whatever you need God’s power for, whatever you are praying for – Don’t. Give. Up.
Seek God, pray, ask for His intervention, and don’t give up. This man’s story was written down so that 2000 years later we could be encouraged. He waited patiently, and God used his life as a testimony.
Won’t you stand strong and wait for God’s power in your life today?
Or for as long as it takes?
I promise you it will be worth it.
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9