Jesus asked the man at the pool if he wanted to get well. The man made lots of excuses in his response: no one would help him; people keep getting in front of him (John 5:1-17).
Jesus asked a simple “yes or no” question. And I think the message underlying it is, “Say ‘yes,’ and I’ll make you well.” He was there. He was ready. Like in Isaiah 65, God made Himself available. He made Himself ready to answer when His people cried out to Him for help.
But no one did.
Not the Israelites. Not this man.
Sometimes we convince ourselves we’re too dirty for God to want anything to do with us. It’s easier to believe God doesn’t care than to ask Him for help. Why is that?
“I’ve screwed up too many times.”
“God has better things to do than care about me.”
“I need to atone for this myself before I can be ‘clean enough’ to see God.”
“God bailed me out of this exact same thing last week; His patience has to be wearing thin.”
“I’m afraid to face the people I’ve hurt.”
“I’m afraid to face the people who hurt me.”
We make so many excuses, but are they actually valid?
How can they be if they are keeping us from God?
We hold onto everything: our excuses, the reasons we think we’re “doing God a favor” by keeping away from Him; and they are poisoning us slowly.
It’s time to let them go. As the chorus from “Yesterday is Over” goes, you have to “open up your hand.”
And let go of what’s behind you
The past can’t hurt you anymore
Or keep you on the ground
Will you let this be the moment
That you let go of yourself?
Let His love hold onto you
And He won’t let go
“I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me” — so let us ask for Him.
“I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me” — so let us seek Him.
“I said, ‘Here am I, here am I,’ to a nation which did not call My name” — so let us call His name.
“I called, but you did not answer” — let us answer.
“I spoke, but you did not hear” — let us hear.
And be healed.
“Do you wish to get well?”
Yes, I do.