This coming Sunday we will be in John 5 – the miracle of walking through the storms of life. Let’s put the text in its modern-day vernacular. A man who was there had been trying for thirty-eight years - trying to be a good husband, a good father, a good person. Jesus comes and says “Do you want to get well? Do you want to be the man you were meant to be? Do you want to be strong in the storm that life has you in just now?”
“Sir,” the man replied, “I have no one to help me, my wife doesn’t believe in me, I have failed my kids too many times, the doctor has given me bad news. While I am trying to get to where I need to be, someone else comes down on me. I thought all these years someone would help me. Someone would see that I am trying to do good. But no one gives me a break. I am trying to walk through the storms of life, but I am tired, and no one helps.” Then Jesus says, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
Jesus doesn’t coddle the man. He doesn’t say, “Oh you poor pitiful man. He doesn’t judge those who were of no help or accuse them of being blind to the needs of others. He simply looks at the one in need and says, “GET UP!! Make up your own bed and walk.”
How many of us have spent a lifetime hoping someone else would see what we really need. Husbands do it to their wives and wives do it their husbands. A man says to his wife, “if you would just treat me with respect then I will be a respectful man.” NO NO NO - NO YOU WON’T. Sir, it is not her job to make you a respectful man. Ma’am it is not his job to meet all your needs as a wife. Hear what I am saying, it is not that we shouldn’t seek to meet the needs of others or show respect. But go back to the woman at the well. What well are you drawing from? Only Jesus can meet your needs. It is Jesus who gives you the strength to GET UP to walk through the storms and trials of life. This is the real miracle. When I am weak, Jesus appears and then I am strong. He gives peace no one and nothing can take away.
The scripture would indicate that there is something we must want. Jesus said do you want to be made well? Unfortunately, we live in a world today that is not well and from all intents and purposes doesn’t seem to want to be well. Paul spoke of this in Romans, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,” This foolish and futile world today is darkened by sin. We have exchanged the truth about God for a lie.
Every week I am working with people that are sick spiritually, but so many refuse to look to the very one who ask the question Do you want to be made well? They have exchanged the truth for the lie. Many people are turning away from God because they think God failed them. He failed to be the lucky rabbit’s foot, the Genie in a bottle. “God let me down, so I don’t need him.” But here is a man who never gave up. For 38 years he has been waiting. Hoping some would help him. Then Jesus shows up. He tells him to get up and walk. He says the same to you and me today.
Rise up and walk. Walk through the storm. Even when the diagnosis isn’t good, even when the pinks slip comes, even when the world is falling apart all around you. Rise up and walk. Job put it this way - "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." Certainly, we can pray for miracles, but the focus must be the Master.
I remember a conversation I had with my dad in the weeks before he died. I was 26 years old. I was angry that God was taking my dad from me. I was even angry at my dad. I felt like he was giving up. I was driving him to his office for the last time to clean it out. I remember asking, “Dad are you giving up?" I will never forget his words, “When I die it won’t be because I surrendered to cancer, it will be because I surrendered many years ago to the one who gave me life.” I responded, “So you are not angry at God?” I can still hear his voice today, “How could I be angry at God. He gave me you, He gave me your sister, and your mom. And He is giving me a home in heaven. He is coming for me. I’m just following Him home.”
Dear brothers and sisters - The greatest miracle of all is the faith God gives to those who look to Him as we walk through the storm. We can pray for a miracle, but it’s not the miracle that gives us peace - it is the Master. Whatever cross you must bear, whatever cross we must bear as a nation keep your eyes on Jesus. The Master’s Plan is being revealed.