Comprehend the Word: John 5:5,7-8,14
When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
“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.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.
Contemplate the Word:
My sister lives ten minutes from me, and our regular get-togethers and conversations have developed an intimacy that continues to grow. This close proximity has been our reality for over two decades. My brother, however, lives in a different province, and our face-to-face visits have been limited to only once or twice a year. The depth of relationship differs with my siblings due to the amount of time we have been able to physically be together.
In the same way, one who spends regular time talking with Jesus will have a deeper relationship with Him than one who doesn’t. In John 5, the lame man’s life began changing when he talked to Jesus and obeyed His words, but there was still so much more for him to experience.
As I ponder what would have happened if the man had ignored Jesus or not been at the pool that day and missed Him, I think about the consequences of not talking to Jesus. The man would have still been sitting on his mat and would have missed out on the joy of walking. He would have missed out on forgiveness and the purpose of telling others what Jesus had done. He would have stayed the same and continued to face his storm alone.
Storms often tempt us to flee from the Presence they’re intended to anchor us to.
I don’t know about your storms, but mine try to toss me around, like they are the boss of me. But there’s another way: Rather than being tossed, I tell them about my Boss. Only prayer — continual conversation in the presence of Jesus, has anchored me. Nothing else made me well, only Him.
How do we resist the temptation to flee? It’s simple: instead, show up. The lame man showed up at the Pool of Bethesda because he wanted to be made well. He didn’t know the details, but he was willing to position himself where healing was available.
Every time we open the Word, pray, gather with the body of Christ, or simply thank Him, we position ourselves to meet with Jesus. We show up. Any activity aimed at connecting with Jesus is like saying, I’m here and I want you to make me well. If we don’t show up to hear Him, we won’t know how He wants to heal us. His words inform us, but it’s often through obedience that He transforms us.
If you and I show up at the pool, Shelter will find us. His constant presence is the only anchor that holds, no matter what storm we face.
True intimacy takes more than one interaction. The lame man’s faith in who Jesus was changed over the course of their two conversations. Likewise, closeness with Him will happen as you spend time together, have ongoing conversation, and choose to trust Him. Depth, intimacy, and heart change will happen in this context.
Instead of navigating the stormy waters on our own, we can talk to Jesus. Trust me, we don’t want to miss Him.
In the midst of a storm, Jesus offers us His presence. It is in His presence that we are made well and our hearts are changed.
So, today, show up at a pool where Shelter can find you. Hear what He wants to say to you, heed His instructions, and once you have experienced forgiveness and healing, go and report that it was Jesus who made you well.
And if you’re still waiting for healing, enjoy the Presence of the Healer!
Converse with the Word:
AIM for HE:
Father God, Your presence is the only shelter in my storms. I am tossed around unless I am anchored to You, my Boss, in prayer. You want to change my heart and heal my brokenness so I can go and tell how You've made me well.
ASK for ME:
Jesus, help me to show up when I am tempted to run from you. Forgive me for fleeing You. Deliver me from the lie that I am alone. Show me where you are when I feel alone.
ABIDE with WE:
Holy Spirit show me what condition I’ve been in for a long time that you want to heal me from. Keep me in continual conversation this week so You have access to my heart and my life. Continually remind me that I am in Your constant presence.
Going Deeper with the Word:
This week, set aside 20 minutes to dive into and unpack Exodus 33:11-18 with Him on the next blank page of your Give Me Jesus study guide. The presence of God was so essential for Moses that he refused to go anywhere without it. Reread Jesus's dialogue with the lame man and meditate on what He might want to continue healing as you remain in His presence. What pools can you show up at this week ti give Him access to your storms, your heart and your life?
I don’t want to miss Him, and I know you don’t either. I’m praying that as you get into the Word this week, the Word gets deep into your heart!