the pool of healing

Today’s post has been rolling around in my brain for the last few hours along with several things that happened today.  Hopefully, I can calm and organize my thoughts into a coherent post tonight, but if not — I apologize ahead of time. 🙂

When Jesus saw him lying there
and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him,
“Do you want to be well?”
The sick man answered him,
“Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool
when the water is stirred up;
while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me.”

This passage is from today’s Gospel reading from John 5:1-16.  This section of the Gospel truly spoke to me today because of several things going on right now.  First of all, I know several people who are sick and are in the hospital or have been in the hospital recently.  I also know of someone who has been having many physical symptoms but with few answers from the doctor as to why.  So, in a very obvious way, this passage is a very appropriate companion to life’s circumstances right now.

But, that easy answer still didn’t settle my thoughts after reading the Gospel.  Instead, it started my thoughts down the path to my own doctor’s visit last week and how he wants to me to try this different protocol for some lingering chronic health issues that I have.  This protocol is not an easy one to follow and will call for a lot of time and effort on my part and of which I don’t have much to spare.  But, my answer to Christ’s question on whether I want to be well or not is a resounding yes.  And as difficult as this protocol might be, it offers the promise of a long term answer versus the short little stop gaps that we have been doing.  The concept of truly being well and healthy and not taking the many pills and supplements that I take every day is very alluring.  So, I have started to prepare myself to follow this new plan.

But, just as my heart came to the acceptance that this is the path to take, the devil had to throw a wrench into my calmness.  I actually talked to someone who has done almost the same protocol that I will be starting and it wasn’t successful for her. *sigh*  So, I now get to battle the internal demons who are saying that I won’t be successful either and it isn’t going to work.  I now wonder whether I really can follow this protocol.  In other words, I am now doubting.  Trying not to, but I am definitely cowering under the onslaught of those doubts now.

It also struck me that this healing that Christ is asking if I am ready for might not only be of the physical nature, but the spiritual nature as well.  That came up when I saw a note that was written to a group of friends.  One of the group was obviously upset over something she heard.  She was being nice in the note, but a feeling of self-justification came over me.  What she had heard was obviously a question followed by a conversation I had with others from our group and she was not happy about the discussion.  But, in reality, all the conversation was about was how I was confused by a post on facebook was asking clarification from someone else as to what exactly was going on.  It seems like she took it badly that I was asking or that she thought I was saying something negatively about the situation.

My first reaction was total frustration.  This particular friend and I haven’t always been on the best of terms and have a tendency to miscommunicate regularly.  My initial thought was why couldn’t she just realize that it isn’t who I am to think that way but that I was generally confused and was just trying to figure out what it all meant because I care.  So, the more I thought about it, the more frustrated I got with her take on all of it.  Hmmm, just the sort of thing that the devil loves!  But, again with some time and reflection, I can see how if what I said wasn’t repeated exactly as I said it and she was hearing about the conversation second-hand, how she probably was frustrated too and replied out of that frustration.

The devil sure is hard at work today making sure there are lots of things taking my mind off of what I should be focusing on.  Sort of like the ill man by the pool who couldn’t quite make it into the healing pool before someone beat him to it.  This is much of what I have been feeling today.  Frustration that as soon as I am getting myself up to go to the healing waters, I am getting sidetracked by someone or something else.  But, thankfully, our Savior is an empathetic savior and willing to step in and help cure us with His love.  I just pray that I am always willing to bask in His love, in His cure.  It is so much nicer than that pool of frustration!

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