In today’s crossroad experience Jesus encounters a man by the pool at Bethesda. People with every kind of illness and physical impairment came from far and near because they believed miraculous cures would happen here. According to tradition an angel would occasionally stir the water in the pool. The first person to get into the water would then be healed of their infirmity. This man has been sick for thirty-eight years. We don’t know how long he’s been lying on his mat beside the pool, but it’s safe to assume it’s been a while. Jesus asks him, “Do you want to get well?” Seems like an insensitive question, but despite the man’s impairment, you’d think he would have made it into that pool first by now if he was really serious about being healed. Rather than give a direct answer, the man gives an excuse as to why he hasn’t been healed. He just can’t get anyone to help him get to the pool first after the angel stirs the water. He’s been at this crossroad for a very long time.
A man was there who had been sick for thirty-eight years. Jesus saw him lying there, and he knew that the man had been sick for such a long time; so he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” The sick man answered, “Sir, I don’t have anyone here to put me in the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am trying to get in, somebody else gets there first.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your mat, and walk.” Immediately the man got well; he picked up his mat and started walking. (Jn 5:5-9)
We often camp out at some crossroads in life, stuck…unable to proceed, discouraged and making excuses. We can get very comfortable with the sickness, sin, addiction, relational problem, and issues in our lives. It’s easy to just settle in and make excuses. Until our desire for change becomes greater than the problem, we will be stuck at the crossroads. But no matter how long you have been at your crossroads, in a moment, in the presence of Jesus Christ, everything can change. Jesus can transform everything. For some it could happen in an instant, for most of us it will be a process…a road we travel, but at least we will be on the road…not immobilized. Once you give to God whatever is holding you down, you will be free to continue your journey.
What is holding you back? What is the situation that has you bogged down at a crossroads? What do you need to do to move forward? What do you need from God? What do you need from your Christian brothers and sisters?
Be honest with yourself and with God. Acknowledge and admit what needs to change in order to remove the barrier that has you trapped at the crossroads. Ask God to give you the strength to start cleaning up the problem, whatever it takes, however long it takes.
Dear God make me uncomfortable enough with my infirmity/problem/issue that I am willing to do what it takes to change things. Give me the strength and courage to move forward with you. I do want to be well, Lord. I do want to experience your power and grace in my life. Thank you for your unconditional love. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.