Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Get up, pick up & walk
The book of John chapter 5 shares with us a peculiar story about a certain man who had suffered from a deep-seated and lingering disorder for 38 years (v.5). The place was Jerusalem in a pool called Bethesda, which means house of mercy, house of grace or the flowing water, near the Sheep Gate (used to bring lambs and sheep to the temple where they were offered as sacrifice) during the Jewish Passover Festival (John 2:13).
There where a great number of sick folks - some blind, some crippled, and some paralyzed waiting for the bubbling up of the water (v.3) Why? Because it was believed that an Angel of the Lord, at appointed seasons, went down (from heaven) into the pool, moved, stirred up the water and who ever stepped in it was cured of whatever disease they were afflicted (v.4).
One day during this festival Jesus was at Bethesda. I imagine Him walking around until he noticed this man. Then he walked to him and asked what seemed to be an obvious question - do you want to become well? What comes next is the obvious answer for many of us - nobody helps me and when I try by myself I'm not fast enough.
Did you notice something? His first answer was to point fingers at everybody else, then he "reveals" that his condition makes him slower. Basically, in between the lines he said it's everyone else's fault that I am like this, then it's my condition's fault. Don't take me wrong, we have all, at some point done this, are doing this, or even are going to do this. Also, I'm not implying that he didn't need help nor that his condition is lightly taken. But it seems to me that Jesus wanted him to realize something else.
During this part of the story I remembered an old friend saying something that is like a timeless truth - the blame is orphan. When something would go wrong at work or in our personal lives he would say this. Because the problem is not in our circumstances, but in our response to them.
Jesus was not just asking a superficial question, it was a much deeper realization. Something like this: Are you really in earnest about getting well? Did you notice that Jesus didn't ask him: Who hasn't helped you? Whose fault is it? Why are you like this? But, are you serious about what you're "searching" for? Because what comes next encloses responsibilities within it.
Before the man could give Jesus a second answer He told him - Get up! Pick up your bed (where you sleep) and walk!
This made me realize a few things. Maybe,
- we are waiting for someone else to help us;
- we are trying, but the way we are trying is not enough, or is not the way;
- we are waiting for the right circumstances to get what we need;
- we are waiting that an angel fall from the heavens and stir up our surroundings;
- we are pursuing the right path to be healed in one area of our life but overlook the others;
- we are focusing on our limitations (sickness, emotions, surroundings) and not on our strengths;
- we are blaming people, our environment and even God for our present;
- what we need is to move, to make it happen because He is with us and that's enough.
I believe that Jesus was trying to show this man his emotional state. One that was about to be changed through this divine appointment.
Also I believe what God is telling us through this exchange of words between Jesus and this man is:
First, that we need to get up from our old state. It implies to have faith, a faith that takes action. It implies to realize if we are prepared for what's coming. It implies that we don't look or search in the wrong places for an incomplete healing.
Second, that we need to pick up what's remaining of our past. It's ours to take and to show, so people can acknowledge our present state and what we've been through. It's a reminder to ourselves to evolve in gratefulness in our present life. It teaches us that if we have enough faith, one day things are going to change. It doesn't matter how long it takes, why or whom's fault it is, but that God loves us more than the limitations we have or the ones created in our minds. He doesn't forget about us or our needs.
Our past and our desert, will become our door to live in a deeper state of hope, a much mature faith and in the reality of His love.
Third, that we need to walk into our future. Note that Jesus by healing this man restored him to society. Not only that, but to the future of it. I believe that we need to understand something, we are part of this world and are responsible for what it has become and what it will become.
He healed this man's mindset because with his old beliefs he was not going to be able to keep walking on this new journey. I believe He healed him in a complete (integral) way: physically, emotionally and spiritually.
I'm sure God wants us to be healed this way.
Then the question is: are we really prepared for what we need? If so, lets Get up, pick up our past and walk into our future as blessed ones.