With You All Along

“Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 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.’”

John 5:1-8

The pool at Bethesda was a place where people waited—and waited! People with diseases and disabilities would crawl, hobble, or be carried there every day, hoping to be healed in the waters. One paralyzed man had been lying there for thirty-eight years. Think of it! That would be like lying by the pool from 1981 to 2019. When Jesus asked him if he wanted to get well, he responded, “Sir…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.” His longing was fixed on a particular answer—someone who would carry him to the water. But the one He really needed was standing right in front of him—Jesus the Healer. It’s a reminder: When things look especially hopeless, remember who stands between you and your need—the very One who will make you whole.

Lord, I know that I have looked right past You many times in my life, hoping and longing for specific solutions to my problems. Sometimes I imagine some expert will have all the answers for me. But You have been with me all along. With the psalmist I say, “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you” (Psalm 39:7).