Quick With Excuses?

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

“Jesus said to the man who had been ill for thirty-eight years, ‘Do you want to be made well?’” [John 5:6]

Jesus’ question sounds absurd to me. Think about chronic pain that wears you down every day or a chronic condition that is debilitating, not for a month or so, but for thirty-eight years.  Of course, the man wants to be healed! But does he?  Change is hard. This man’s world would be turned upside down and inside out. He has spent 38 years poolside. No craft or profession. No 401K building up over the years. No job experiences other than waiting and hoping for help to the pool. So, the man makes excuses as to why he has been poolside for thirty-eight years. He has no friends. No one concerned enough to help him into the water first in thirty-eight years. Can you even imagine this man? Who brought him food? How did he take care of the necessities of life?  How did he manage to live poolside for so long?  Although the man doesn’t answer the question Jesus asks, Jesus gives him a command, “Stand up, take your mat and walk!” I wonder if we have traits like this man in us? Are we quick with excuses and afraid to be made well?

Prayer

I confess I am more like this man than I would care to admit some days. I am quick to make excuses and I worry about what it would mean for me to have none.  How much would you demand of me, Jesus?  Would I be able to do what you demand?  Forgive my fears and help me to understand the gift of your presence and power at work within me. Amen.

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