One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. 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 5:5-7)
Relate: A while back I read about a woman who was browsing in a small country store when she came across a small wall picture asking a question that stuck with her: “If you knew that you would not fail, what would you attempt?” That question didn’t just stick with her, once I read it, it stuck with me. For days that question bounced around inside my head. It stirred up a sense of wonder and hope. A few other questions came stirring up to the surface as well: What are my dreams? How can I live for a bigger purpose? What could God do through me if I truly began to understand just how great He is? It was almost as if an angel were troubling the deep waters in my soul… but I didn’t dive in.
Jesus asked an impossible question to the man by that poolside. “Do you want to get well?” Like me, that man didn’t directly answer. Oh yes, of course he wanted to get well. He dreamed of getting well. He yearned for it. I can imagine him waking up in the morning after dreaming of being whole, only to find he was stuck back in the same situation as always. He was still lame. You see, being healed, being whole… that is the stuff of dreams. It is for those what if moments that sometimes must overtake us. But we can’t live there. We have to get back to reality. Reality is that I will never walk. Reality is that I will never be whole. Reality is that I will not be healed. So Jesus asks a question of desire, and the man answers with a statement of reality. “I can’t.”
React: Jesus is the author of a greater reality. So what are my dreams? What are my passions? Who put them there? Why do I have them? What are those things I’ve given up on ever getting better? Where have I settled when God wants more? A couple years back, and for all my life up to that point I had given up on ever being free of asthma. It was just a fact of my life. Breathing freely and fully just wasn’t for me. But Jesus was the author of a greater reality. Where I knew pain, I now know freedom. I slept with a cat on my chest. I spent a good thirty minutes petting and playing with a few dobermans. I spent a week in the home that had both cats and dogs. These things were once impossible. Now I have been healed. If He has done that for me, what else can He do? It is time to dream bigger. God wants to do the impossible. Will we walk that road with Him? Will we rise? Or are we stuck in the depressing “reality” of pragmatism?
Help me to dream. You are the author of impossible realities. My healing is not too great for You. My wholeness is not too great for You. My dreams… are simply an opportunity for You to display Your greatness. Help me to dream bigger. Then help me to walk in them. You have called me for so much more. You have called me to greater things. Let those things become reality. Help me to ask for the impossible.