Read: John 4:43-5:47
I had a friend call early this morning, and she sounded like she was hanging from a thread. Her family lives under financial stress year after year. We discussed the desire to “just trust God.”
Why is it so hard to trust God in the middle of an ongoing trial? Why is it so hard to get to (what feels like) the other side of the ravine, where the shepherd provides green pastures and still waters?
Often we struggle with the same thing we were struggling with many years ago. Your struggle may be in your marriage. Your struggle may be a physical problem. Your struggle may be with anxiety. But for many of us, we can identify the same problem that has not gone away.
In our passage, the man by the pool had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. Jesus walks up to him and asks him,
What a ridiculous question! Of course he wants to be well. But this man doesn’t just say, “Yes!”
Look at his answer, “’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.”
Two things determine this man’s answer. First, he does not know whom he is talking to. Secondly, all his hope for healing is bound up in a superstition. Like those around him, this man has bought into the lie that there is healing in the pool. If only he can get into that pool.
Most of us believe, like the invalid, that if only … you fill in the blank.
If only my marriage were better. If only my child was a better student. If only my Mom and I could get along. If only I didn’t have to work for my boss. If only my finances were in order.
We believe we have the prescription for a peaceful, contented life. The reality is that we have no idea. I am as foolish as the invalid.
In John 5:16-30, Jesus makes enormous claims about Himself.
I am equal with God.
I am the giver of life.
I am the final judge.
I will determine the eternal destiny of humanity.
I will raise the dead.
I am always doing the will of God. (From Chuck Swindoll's Insights on John)
This man standing in front of the invalid and standing in front of you and me, He is the answer. Jesus is not a simple answer because He does not use our timetables or our plans to fix all our problems. But He makes us enormous promises. He gives us His peace, and He is our good shepherd.
I am reading Phillip Keller’s A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23. He discusses watching native herds in Africa follow their shepherd. They are led down to their owner’s water wells. The problem is that these wells are at the bottom of enormous caverns. The sheep probably do not enjoy the journey down. However, at the bottom is cool, clear, clean water.
I don’t know what miracle you need, and I do not want to minimize that it may hurt like crazy. But let’s drink from the well of living water. Let’s rest in the provision of the shepherd while He is leading us on a difficult path. His peace is available to us, and our miracle might just be at the bottom of this ravine.
In your Going Deeper Participant Guide, let’s look at Day 6 beginning on page 15. Complete Look at the Details and Personal Application sections. Then come back here and share your answer to the following discussion question in the comment section below. (You can find the comment section at the bottom of this message. Just scroll down and you’ll see the words “Post a Comment.” Click there and share your responses.) Or, join the conversation on our Facebook Community Group.
Look at the discourse between Jesus and the invalid. "Why do you think Jesus asked that question? What would you say if He asked you, that question?"
I will be posting my responses in the comment section and on Facebook, so I hope to see you there!
Thanks for going on this journey together! #undividedwomen
Join us for End It Movement Day this Thursday, February 25th. Pray and learn about the effects of human trafficking in our city.