What To Remember When It’s Not Your Turn
Have you ever watched other people get the blessings that you have prayed for? The truth is, there are seasons in life that are designed to make us wait. The problem with waiting is often God’s timeline stretches beyond our patience and we see other people get the blessings that we have prayed for. If you have ever felt that way you will be able to relate to the man in this story.
Jesus entered Jerusalem for a feast and encountered a man lying near a pool called “Bethesda”. It had five porches with sick people lying all around it. It was believed that an angel of the Lord came down from time to time to stir up the water and whoever got in first would be healed. This man had been there waiting 38 years. When Jesus arrived, he saw the man and knew how long he had been there and asked a question. “Wilt thou be made whole?” His response was, “Sir I have no man to put me in the water when it is troubled by the angel. By the time I get there someone else is already in.”Jesus said, “Rise! Pick up your bed and walk!” Immediately, the man picked up his bed and walked after waiting 38 years. At a deeper look we discover that this man had three (3) things working against him:
- Age: The normal life span in this day was 40 years old. We do not how old he was but one can speculate that he wasn’t an infant when he got there.
- Ailment: He is sick. We do not know the nature of his illness; we are simply informed that it prevented him from walking.
- Anxiety: No one has offered him help. For 38 years he has been waiting and wondering, “When will I get my chance?”
Yet, Jesus uttered 5 words. “Wilt thou be made whole?” The man does not answer the question but immediately makes 3 excuses:
Excuse #1 – Abandonement: “I have no man to put me in the pool.”
Excuse #2 – Frustration: “Every time I try to get in the water.”
Excuse #3 – Entitlement: “Someone gets in before me.”
There is a message in this story. Life can be frustrating when waiting on God and if we are not careful we will “forever be the victim” making excuses and blaming others for where we are in life. Yet, the good news is God Sees You and He Knows Your Frustration. Verse 6 informs us that before Jesus spoke a word to this man He saw him and knew how long he had been in his situation.
Jesus didn’t heal every one at the pool. Why? There are two answers that evolve here. The theoretical answer is it is possible that this man was probably in the worse state and Jesus knew he would respond to the Words of Life. The theological answer in this story is God is sovereign. God’s sovereignty speaks of His position and His power. In other words, He can do what He wants to do.
Here is the question for those who are waiting on God to move in their life. What should you remember when waiting on God?
This man believed that if he was going to get better he had to be somewhere around that pool. He could not have been hanging around the cow pasture or down at the fish market but he had to position himself around the pool. However when positioning yourself for the blessings of God; it’s not a place but a posture. The posture is one of humility. 1 Peter 5:6 – “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:” Stop focusing on “why not me” and learn how to celebrate the victories in the lives of others. There are times when God will elevate those around you to see your reaction.
It is better to not have an opportunity and be prepared then to have one and not be prepared. It may seem futile but your labor will not be in vain! Galatians 6:9 – “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” You Will Never Leave Where You Are Until You Prepare For Where You Would Rather Be.
Have patience. One writer says, “Patience is a virtue because it makes us better people. What did we miss out on? Did we hurt someone we love because of lack of patience? Patience is the ability to sit back and wait for an expected outcome without delay, tension or frustration.” Psalm 27:14: “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”
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Dr. Oscar T. Moses