He had been disabled for 38 years. In an era, when the life expectancy was 35, that was truly a lifetime.
We don’t know how long he had waited at the Pool of Bethesda for his miracle. All we know is that this is where Jesus found him – gathered with others who were blind, paralyzed, crippled…waiting for a miracle, waiting for a breakthrough, waiting for mercy.
At the pool of Bethesda, an angel would appear and stir the waters. The first in the water after the angel stirred it, would be healed. This man had tried to reach the water first. He had persevered. He hoped for mercy. Yet, there he lay, paralyzed for 38 years.
Can you relate to this man? How long have you waited to be completely healed? For your loved one to know the Lord? For your spouse? For the dream job ? For revival? You’ve tried all you know to do. You’ve persevered. You’ve prayed. You’ve hoped. And still you sit at the pool of Bethesda, waiting.
If you feel as if you are at the Pool of Bethesda, waiting for a breakthrough, here are three things we can learn from this gentleman:
1. Don’t give up. I have heard sermons criticize this man. “If he really wanted to be healed, he would have found a way into the pool,” the critics comment. But I commend this man for not giving up – for hoping when Hope was gone. We don’t always understand God’s timing. But believe He wants you healed, prosperous, and your loved ones saved. Contend for it. Everyday inch closer to the pool.
2. Avoid bitterness. In Aramaic, Bethesda means “The House of Loving Kindness.” Take up residence in loving kindness. There is a temptation to become envious when others around you seem to skip the line. But remember God’s goodness is not a pie, but an unlimited buffet line. Rejoice with those who rejoice because what God has done for them, He will do for you. Spend your time in “The House of Loving kindness.”
3. Obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus asked if he wanted to be heal, he gave an excuse. When Jesus commanded him to stand, the Bible says, “Immediately he stood up – he was healed.”
Our breakthrough is often on the other side of obedience. After 38 years of paralysis, it didn’t make sense to try to stand. But he obeyed.
His obedience violated social norms. He carried a mat on the Sabbath. What if he were more concerned about tradition than his healing? What if his fear of man, prevented him from obeying? What if he chose religion over healing?
As we go into 2022, go in hopeful, expectant. Keep persevering toward your breakthrough. Live in a place of loving kindness, and most importantly, Hear His voice and obey. Your breakthrough is coming!
“Jesus said to him, “Stand up! Pick up your sleeping mat and you will walk!” Immediately he stood up—he was healed! So he rolled up his mat and walked again! Now Jesus worked this miracle on the Sabbath.”
John 5:8-9 TPT