People can be mean. Especially when resources are slim and there may not be enough to go around, we can become self-centered, and harsh, and even cruel. Take a look at Black Thursday 4am sales. Being first in line counts about as much as a hill of beans when the doors open. The prize goes to the swift and the strong and those who shove hardest. Rarely is it about who’s been there longer or shown patience.
And that’s what happens to the man in John 5. He waits.
And every time there’s a miracle and the waters of healing are stirred at this God-given pool, someone else steps in front of him and takes his turn. He’s ill, and it’s not hard to push an ill person out of the line. And so he never gets the healing that he needs and has waited for thirty eight years. Every day has been Black Friday, and everyday has been a disappointment.
And then Jesus walks along, and he cures him…
For thirty-eight years, this man has waited to be healed. He has waited on God to stir the waters, and he has waited on humans to stop cutting him off and being mean — and never has that happened at the same time. And then comes God-human Jesus who cares, helps, and heals — who shows up our ways of being mean and even redeems them with kindness.
I wonder the times that we have shoved others out of the way when things looked slim and that there might not be enough to go around… and may God forgive us for our brokenness because we definitely are well short of perfect.
I wonder the things for which we have waited for a lifetime with patience and with hope only to have them dashed time and time again… and may God provide, pick us out of the dust, and send us restored to proclaim what he has done.