By Rachel Hammett
In John chapter 5, we read of another miracle of Jesus Christ. The setting was the pool of Bethesda, a place of miracles as an angel came at a certain season to trouble the water which would heal the person who first jumped into the pool. As one could imagine, the area was always crowded with all sorts of infirm folks, waiting for that troubling of the water. Jesus came by one day and in His infinite wisdom and knowledge of all hearts, spoke to one man in particular.
For 38 years this sick man lay beside the pool, hoping to be healed. For 38 years he was helpless, having no one to help him get down in the water. For 38 years he was hopeless, watching others be healed from his permanent location on the sidelines. But was he really hopeless? After all, he was still sitting by the water, waiting for a turn to be healed. He hadn’t completely given up. And then suddenly the Master was there; ‘Rise, take up thy bed and walk!’
At that moment, it really didn’t matter how long he had not been able to perform that simple act of walking. It really didn’t matter that he had no man to help him. Jesus was able to overcome all of that. The transformation was instantaneous; it was truly a miracle. It had nothing to do with his timing, nothing to do with his wishing, nothing to do with his goodness. The only thing he had to do with give up his hopeless, helpless state and tighten his muscles to rise up and walk.
And walk he did – and perhaps a bit of running too. He didn’t sit there complaining about what had been or how he expected it to be. He wasn’t incredulous at the seeming impossible request Jesus made of him. He didn’t howl about insensitivity or try to get more out of the deal. He simply had the faith to take Jesus at His word.
When the Master comes all our doubts and insufficiencies just fall away. One word from the Master, and all can be well. Just like the storm on the sea, our lives can be fierce and raging, but one word from the Master and all is still. But again, it has nothing to do with us. It is all dependent on Him speaking the words and our faith to act on it. All the glory goes to Him for what He does.
So if that power lies there untapped, why do we live our lives in confusion and weakness? Here is the problem: Many times we make so much noise trying to make ourselves walk and trying to make the storm be still, that we don’t hear Him whispering the very thing that can cure us. I think that is what Amy Carmichael had in mind when she penned those simple words – ‘Let it be; think on Me.’
Can you just imagine how the story might have been different if the man in John 5 had been screaming at those around him, complaining and demanding his own way? Would Jesus have stopped to speak or would He have walked right on by? Of course we know that Jesus, in His wisdom, is able to see the heart and not just the outside of a person. What is your heart telling Jesus? Are you ready to give up your insufficiencies so He can have His way with you? Does it really matter how long you’ve waited or how hard you’ve tried? When the Master comes along, everything is different.
Lord, help me to hear your ‘Rise and walk,’ Your ‘Peace, be still,’ Your ‘LET IT BE; THINK ON ME!’