John 5:8. “Jesus said to him, ‘Stand up, take your mat and walk.’”
I sometimes need to get up and get going. At times, I have put my life on hold. I’ve pushed the pause button. I’ve filed my life in a folder labeled “Action Pending.”
These moments mostly happen when I’m waiting for something or someone to change. In those times, I’m as blind, lame, and paralyzed as the invalids gathered around the pool in Beth-zatha in today’s gospel. And just like them, I’m trying to get into the pool—struggling to find my blessing, my wholeness. The men and women who are gathered in our story from John believe that an angel would trouble the water and whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water would be made well.
I suspect we all have our Beth-zatha, convinced that everything will be better as soon as we get in the water, or cash the check, or get off the plane. But things won’t be better. We’re drowning in the illusion of Beth-zatha—of having to be there first, of blessings only going so far, of grace having a limit.
What is your Beth-zatha? Jesus’ words stir the waters of new life, not in the pool of Beth-zatha but within each of us.
*Originally written for and published by Forward Day by Day.