Read John 5
Almost 3 years ago my family and I were called away from my home church, the church I grew up at, the church we had been attending and working at to work and serve in a different church, still local, but new people. We ended up moving to a new home, everything was different. I was excited to see what God was going to do in and through us, I knew the job my husband had gotten at this new church was tailor made for him and being a visionary the possibilities seemed endless.
Looking back I couldn’t have anticipated the season we were entering. I imagined it would be one of flourishing yet the past 3 years have felt a bit like exile. Through many situations we have been refined, our faith has been stretched and pushed, isolation, rejection and grief has led me to lean into Jesus deeper. The things that I have experienced over this time period I would have never dreamed of or chosen for my life yet God knew what I needed to continually become the woman he has created me to be. He is always at work, even and especially in the hard seasons.
Where I wouldn’t have chosen the situations, I don’t want to go back to the person I was 3 years ago. I want to continue to be refined by Jesus and a part of his plan even when that means that life is lonely, hurtful and hard.
We are so shortsighted as humans. I look back on the past 3 years and I see them as chapters in the book that is the story of my life, important chapters. In all honesty it is a short time period compared to the rest of my life and eternity but when I was in the middle of it it felt like a lot longer.
Again I need God’s grace upon grace to see past my immediate situations to what he is doing in my life, maybe you need his grace to see past your feelings and situations as well. When we see past the temporal and physical we see how God’s purpose in all he does, or allows to happen, is to reach and meet our deeper needs. His goal is that we will take him as our Savior and then to makes us more like him.
John 5 opens with Jesus walking up to the pool of Bethesda and we see him approach a man who has been an invalid for 38 years. Before we go any further I want us to notice the verse before he approaches this man, a verse in the past I have flown over.
“In these lay a multitude of invalids – blind, lame and paralyzed.” 5:3
There wasn’t only one invalid man who needed healing, yet as far as we know only one was healed that day. Does that mean he didn’t care as much for the rest of the multitudes? No, I believe that it isn’t ever as much about what is happening with our physical selves as what is happening in our eternal selves. Jesus’ priority is who we are on the inside and our eternal situation. If someone else is getting the healing or the success or the you fill in the blank and you aren’t it doesn’t mean anything other than they are getting it and you aren’t . What I am continually learning is to trust God and his goodness in my life, that his plan for me will prevail and he is sovereign over it all. I need his grace to live in this every day.
The story goes on and Jesus heals the man, tells him to pick up his mat and walk and he does it. After a run in with the religious leaders of the day Jesus finds the man again, in church, and addresses his deeper need.
“See you are well! Sin no more that nothing more may happen to you.” John 5:14
A second chance on life and an opportunity to choose to live in Christ’ grace upon grace.
Whether you identify with the invalid still laying at the pool or the one recently healed, today we all need God’s grace upon grace to “sin no more” and allow Jesus to come in and meet our deeper needs.
- What deeper needs has God been working on in your life?
- In what situations do you need to trade in your shortsightedness for God’s longsighted perspective?
- How does this story draw you to love Jesus more?
Join us in the Grace Upon Grace Facebook Community and answer the Community Question of the day, “How does seeing Jesus in John 5 cause you to love him more?”
Steph is a mom to four girls and wife to one very supportive man. She is the Executive Director of Stories Foundation and is passionate about fighting for freedom both spiritual and physical. Her days consist of car pooling, ministry, parenting and lots of coffee.