There are stages of life when we don’t find much sense in what we do.
It seems that we live the same day over and over again in an endless cycle without knowing why we really do it.
In some stages and moments of life, it seems that we survive rather than live.
At least that’s been my experience.
Maybe it’s yours.
I would like to tell you the story of a man who for thirty-eight years repeated the same unfortunate day of his life over and over again.
If you’re wondering how that’s possible.
The story goes like this:
Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades.
Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.
One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.
When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred.
While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
| John 5:2-9
If anyone knows of monotony and sadness, it is this man we read about.
Don’t you think so?
Thirty-eight years, living the same day over and over again.
Night and day by that well, unable to move, with deep longings for his life to change and never to repeat that absurd day again.
Certainly, this man was trapped in his condition, unable to change it for himself.
And this reminds me of how I once felt, and how you may be feeling today as you read these lines.
Maybe you’re stuck in an addiction, in a relationship, in a job, in a bad habit, in a routine, in a problem, or in any situation you’re not able to get out of.
You feel like that paralytic, unable to move from the place where you are.
This man had been like this for thirty-eight years.
I would like to ask you how many years have you been living that life?
The same life of that man.
A monotonous, sad, and unbearable life.
The reason why this man lived like this is clear.
He was a wretched paralytic.
But what’s the reason you live like this?
Have you ever wondered?
Do you know the answer?
Who is to blame?
Whose responsibility is it?
What is the real reason?
I have a theory that may interest you.
The reason we live our life that way is that we need something more in life.
And it’s not a distraction, it’s not a hobby, it’s not fun, it’s not adrenaline, it’s not euphoria, or anything ephemeral and fleeting.
No, what we need is peace in our heart.
The ability to be free from the chains that bind us and find joy in life itself.
Will it be possible?
Buddhists for example say that existing is suffering.
My position is that to exist away from God is to suffer.
But to exist near Him is ineffable joy, peace, and a deep purpose of existence.
The reason this man lived his life like this and the reason your life is unfolding that way is the same.
He had not encountered Jesus.
The absence of Jesus in life.
Perhaps your response to this statement is, “But I have Jesus in my life, why then do I feel that way?”
Do you really have him?
You were created to enjoy the glory of God and live in his presence every day of your life.
In that presence, you find joy, adventure, passion, and purpose.
That’s been entirely my experience.
But you have to live your own.
You need Jesus in your life, and I have some good news for you.
That man’s story says that:
When Jesus saw him lying down, and learned that he had been like this for a long time (…)
History says that Jesus saw him and became interested in his problem.
The good news is that you weren’t born to live like this.
The fact that you read these lines today is no accident.
It’s about God’s providence and precious will for your life.
He saw you today and took an interest in your problem.
And he cares about your problem for a reason.
You were not born to live the life you are living.
You were not born to live in defeat, slavery, or sadness.
You were born to live in the glory of his presence.
This is why Jesus immediately sees the man:
(…) he said, “Do you want to be healthy?”
What a question from the Lord Jesus.
Thirty-eight years paralyzed and asks the man if he wants to be healthy.
In other words, do you want to change that monotonous and miserable life for a much better life?
What do you think is that man’s natural response?
The obvious answer to this question would be: yes
But do you remember what the man answers?
(…) he replied, “Lord, I have no one to put me in the pond when the water stirs; and as far as I arrive, another goes down before me.”
Jesus asked him a clear and direct question: Do you want to be healthy?
Why does the man respond with something other than a “yes”.
Well, you will see, that is the eternal problem of the human being.
You need Jesus in your life, the Lord at this moment comes to you and asks you: Do you want to change the course of your life for a much better one?
Obviously, you want to say yes.
You’ve been living that monotonous, miserable life for too long.
Being destroyed by your mistakes, your sins, your dependencies, and your emotions.
But for some reason, we always answer the Lord with an excuse or something other than the direct question he is asking us.
Of course, you want to be healthy.
Of course, you want to say yes.
There is no reason why today, when he offers to change your life, you leave him with a “but” or with an excuse.
If you want to leave the place where you are, the real exit is only one.
You need to accept him in your heart and start living with him and for him.
And you know something.
Jesus knew the answer that this man really wanted to give him and for this reason, he does not torture him by asking him again, but says to him:
Jesus said to him, “Arise, take your bed, and go.”
And instantly that man was healed, and he took his bed and left. (…)
The Lord today wanted to give you the opportunity to be free from your misery and wants to heal your heart.
He tells you to get up and get out of there.
Will you take hold of his word?
Will you allow him to change your gray days into sunny summer days?
Only he can do it.
Give him a chance.
What’s your fight? Do you need us to help you pray for something? Want to share or add something else? Leave us a comment.
Have you decided to accept Jesus into your heart and allow him to change your life? Feeling trapped and need help? Write to me, email@example.com, and let me help you in your process. You’re not alone.
Blessings and a hug.