My friend Bill is undergoing surgery today to remove a cancerous growth. He has struggled with cancer for years and this is just one more round in an on-going battle.
In John’s gospel, chapter 5, Jesus meets a man who has been struggling with health problems for 38 years. They meet at the side of a pool called Bethesda, a pool where, according to tradition, an angel comes down from time to time to stir up the water. The first to plunge into the pool after this disturbance would recover from any ailment he had.
When Jesus asks the cripple, “Do you want to recover?” the man responds by saying that others are always into the pool before him. He has no one to help him into the pool. He apparently has no friends. He is not only physically challenged, but he is socially handicapped. He needs healing.
For 38 years, this man has trusted in the powers of the pool to heal his crippled legs. But when Jesus commands him to stand and walk, the man shifts his trust from the power of the pool to Jesus. And he recovers instantly. Thirty-eight years of trusting in the wrong thing produced no results. But one minute of trusting in the right person brought healing to his body and soul.
My friend Bill trusts in Jesus. He knows that not everyone was healed that day by the pool at Bethesda. He realizes that God does not always heal us instantly. But he is trusting in the Living Water, the only true Source of healing for our body, soul and spirit.