I Can’t, Sir
“When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, ‘Would you like to get well?’ ‘I can’t, sir,’ the sick man said, ‘for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.’” John 5:6-7
Are you an I can’t-er?
As we read the story told in John Chapter 5 of the man who had been lame for 38 years, we begin to see ourselves and the limits we place upon God.
Often we allow experience to be our teacher rather than God. We allow years and years of disappointment to cement our lot in life. The lame man had 38 years of disappointment discouraging him, confirming in his mind that nothing would or could ever change and things would never get better for him. Yet, day after day he went to the same place and waited. Waited for what? Perhaps he had hope things would change, that he would somehow make it into the pool. Or perhaps he was just confirming to himself once again that nothing was ever going to get better.
As the story goes on in the Chapter, we see that the Pharisees are I can’t-ers, too. They determine to help cement that negative place the man has always held. They don’t like this positive change, this healing Jesus brings, for whatever reason.
How often do you and I sit at the pool waiting for someone to put us in when it bubbles up? How often do we allow past experience to confirm a tragic course or cement our lot in life? And how often do we allow the naysayers around us to put out the fire of victory within?
All the while, Jesus is there—not to put us into the water—but to put an end to our suffering and defeat.
Psalm 118:15 tells us, “Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things!”
We serve a can-do God. May we always believe.