They say change is good but they didn’t say that it can be scary. I know that God has not given me the spirit of fear but sometimes the thought of change is scary. The unknown worries me and I would be lying if I said something different. As I make another transition in my life I feel like the man at the pool of Bethesda in the gospels.
He traveled to Bethesda defined as “house of mercy,” up the five sets of porches to the pool. The people back then believed that if they entered the pool when it was troubled that they would receive their long awaited healing.
This paralytic man had been this way for 38 years and decided that he wanted to be healed. He figured out how to get to the “House of Mercy” and receive his healing. He thought he was ready but when he was faced with change he laid there and waited.
Sounds like the year that I have had. God has placed some amazing people and situations in my life but as I sit at the side of my own pool I seem to be staring at the possibilities and thinking too much about the process. Instead of jumping in with both feet I am pondering every possibility of what’s next. Enough about me. Let’s get back to my Bible friend.
He watched as other sick entered the pool and walked away changed. I wonder what was going on in his head at the time. The Bible does not say but I imagine that he went through a list of reasons why getting into the pool could be a blessing, a disappointment, or bring on more questions of what’s next. As he sat at the side of the pool he had no idea that he was being watched.
Jesus observed this man who laid pool side as he thought about if and when he would get in. He watched him allow others to walk over him as the paralytic considered getting in and then give up. Jesus seems to interrupt the mans thoughts and says to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
It was a simple question that should have received a simple answer but the man let Jesus in on his internal thoughts. He says to Jesus that he didn’t have anyone to help him and then he says when I try others jump ahead of me (paraphrased).
How many times have you been here? I have been just as guilty as this man. I’ve said that I couldn’t go back to school because it wasn’t the right time. I’ve said that I need more time to finish this before I did that. I’ve even said well I can start that tomorrow, next week or after….but Jesus had an answer for him.
Jesus did not ask him about his answers or say I am here I will help you. Jesus did not challenge his thinking or tell the other people to stop what they were doing. He said exactly what the man needed. “Get up and walk.”
Sometimes all we need is to be reminded of our purpose. The paralytic man went to the “House of Mercy” to receive his healing yet he went all that way to simply stare at the pool. Jesus brought him out of his personal thoughts and helped him remember why he went to the pool.
What is your poolside experience? What are you waiting to do? Have you applied for school but have not registered for class? Have you written your vision for your non-for-profit but have not gathered your board of directors? Have you bought the membership to the gym but have not gone? Have you decided to quit doing something but you haven’t walked away?
Don’t try to figure out all of the next steps in this moment. You have arrived at the side of the pool to get in. If this is where God has led you, be confident in Him to know that He will lead you the rest of the way.
Just another day’s journey of understanding the truth behind why my future scares me. Peace.