Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” John 5:5-7
The caption read, “Paralyzed by Pandemic Uncertainty?” A prominent psychologist has offered assistance to those who are unable to cope with the current pandemic through a written article. It is probable that the strategies mentioned could be achieved by those who function well under normal circumstances, but now are at a crossroads in their lives. The reactions to the threat by the coronavirus have paralyzed many individuals who can no longer reason as evidenced by the level of chaotic behaviors on a national level.
It is unfortunate that during this major life-changing event that some Believers in Christ are also troubled. Yes, they have attended church faithfully, performed good deeds, and have not willfully disobeyed God. They believe in the Bible, and pray when life presents hardships, yet during this pandemic, they are confused and worried, unable to sleep, and are just praying for a miracle that COVID-19 will go away so they can return to our routine lifestyles. It takes more than doing just enough to get by to achieve spiritual growth and live a faith-based life.
Jesus traveled to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days, which was on the Sabbath. On his way to the synagogue, He made a stop; Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. John 5:2-3.
Healing the infirmed man was not a random miracle, Jesus’ visit to the disabled man at the pool of Bethesda was intentional. The Bible provides us with the knowledge that Jesus was with at least one of His disciples, John, who recorded in verse 5 that the man had an infirmity for 38 years. Only Jesus, who is Omniscient, would have known the exact years that the man was unable to walk.
Note that Jesus did not ask the man how many years he was infirmed, which should have given the disciples more in-depth insight, but like many of us, they were also spiritually blinded. The disciples wavered in their faith because they had a hidden agenda; they desired for Jesus to become King and deliver them from the bondage of governmental rule. Depsite countless miracles, powerful sermons, avoidance of capture by the officials, and never succumbing to the trickery of the Pharisees and Sadducees to which the disciples were eye-witnesses, they still failed to recognize Jesus as the Son of God. Throughout Jesus’ time with his disciples, who were appointed to witness and anointed to perform miracles, they required many reminders that Jesus was not just a man who possessed a gift of healing, He was the Divine Son of God.
Imagine that you are the man at the pool, and someone approaches you and asks if you want to be made well, the majority of us would have answered, “yes,” but the man gave Jesus an explanation of why he was not able to get into the pool. And that is the road block to growing closer to God, we create excuses to justify why we cannot study the Bible, or maintain communication with God through prayer which are the spiritual building blocks to living a faith-based life.
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. Hebrews 11:6
The man at the pool, the disciples, and many of us are diagnosed with the same fatal condition of “Wavering faith in Jesus Christ.” We know about Jesus, but we do not have an up-close and personal relationship with Him, so our minds are restless, and we are confused. Spiritual growth requires more than attending church, hearing virtual sermons, or returning tithes and offerings. Our Bibles, if we have one, cannot have the status of being a shelf decoration, nor can we only pray when we are facing stormy trials and tribulations.
We must, “Get up and Walk.” Sincerely seeking God requires active participation. Faith-building cannot happen from yesterday’s worship. Every day, we must talk to God, dutifully search the scriptures, and give God the praise that He deserves. Faith is always believing, trusting, and patiently waiting for our Heavenly Father to resolve our problems. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Why should there be any doubt or confusion during this pandemic? God is not a man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and not act? Does He promise and not fulfill? Numbers 23:19
These are dangerous and troubled times that have been prophesied in the Word of God. Even so, the promises of God stand firm. The grass withers, and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8
So, to the well-meaning Psychologist, I respectfully decline your therapeutic interventions. I am not paralyzed by fear, anxiety, nor am I confused; in fact, I am sleeping like a newborn in a crib because I am a Believer in the Most High God. “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last.” Job 19:25
Thank you, God, for your love, your grace, and your mercies. Most of all, thank you for taking care of us and giving us peace in the time of trouble. Amen.
Now, this is what the LORD says—He who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you go through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, and the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;… Isaiah 43:1-3
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the written permission of the author.