Would you like to get well?
Familiarity, comfort, the safety of the known. There's something endearing to our nature to be in the familiar. My wife's dog barks at the door - he wants to go out. So we let him out, and then he barks because he wants to come in. He likes the freedom, but something is tying him back to the comfort of people and the house.
I can relate to that. There is something in my nature that keeps me from being too free. Gotta have something to worry about, right? Well, maybe you can relate to the invalid by the pool of Bethesda in John 5. He was an invalid for 38 years. That's a long time. That's a long time to get comfortable with a condition, no matter how uncomfortable that condition is.
In fact, that's long enough to make you think things will never change; maybe even make you think it would be too scary if things actually did change.
So Jesus asks the man a simple question, "Would you like to get well?" But the man's answer was not a quick and resounding "Yes!" No. Rather the man came up with reasons why he could not get well.
We do that.
Lord, that's just the way I am. I've tried and tried and then tried again with no results. What's going to make things different this time? We come up with a list of reasons why our lifelong conditions can't be changed. But they can be changed, all because of the mercy of a Savior.
Notice that Jesus did not chide him for making excuses. He did not walk away saying, "Get back to me when you know for sure if you want to be healed." And He works with us the same way. He doesn't wait until we are perfect and ready. No, just like the invalid He says to us, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
The Lord does that for us - He is willing to bring us into a new place; into freedom. Thirty eight years. Three, the number of days Jesus was in the tomb before resurrecting. Eight, the first day of a new week. Resurrection to change. That's what the Lord has for you. Even if you're not one hundred percent invested, He's still one hundred percent invested in you.
(Photographs by Hannah G. Furcinitti)