After Jesus healed the son of the official in Capernaum, there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay many invalids-- blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be made well?" The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me." Jesus said to him, "Stand up, take your mat and walk." At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. Now that day was a sabbath.John 5:1-9
As a swimmer, it can be hard to get in the pool. Sometimes it is from laziness or timing problems. More often it can be the other swimmers. Some people don't share very well, and try their best to make it hard to share a lane. We are competitive beasts, us humans, but when one is just trying to get some exercise, it is hard to deal with a selfish swimmer. I have been scratched and kicked intentionally, and one man told me to get out of his lane. This was at a YWCA of all places.
Today we hear the story of a man waiting for seemingly ever to get into the pool for healing. People would push him out of the way just so they could get there first. Wanting our own way, our own lane, and to be first in line is very human. No our best quality. The man waiting for healing saw Jesus and asked him for help. He didn't get involved in the trite human competition we all seem to be swept up in. Instead he asked for help and was given the strength to get up and walk. Healing from the Divine came from his own heart, willing to ignore the foolishness of others, and seeking God for himself. Right as he was, there lonely in the back of the crowd.
Today, I ask God to help me not worry what others do or think, but rather seek after God's blessing and healing. May we be ready to get up and walk, seeking God first in all things and letting go of our need to control. May we let go so that we can find peace and healing. May we let go so that all may be healed and live.
O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.