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: Every now and then a horrible book makes an amazing point. About a year and a half back, I purchased one of those “chicken soup” type books off the clearance rack at Barnes and Noble for a couple bucks. Once or twice a day I would endure another one of the short “you can make a great life for yourself if you only think positively” type articles. There was only two reasons I kept going: 1) It is next to impossible for me to ever start a book and not finish it. (I’m at 27 books read this year) 2) I was trolling for good illustrations that I might end up using here.
And then one day I read one of those articles that literally changed my life. I know people say that sometimes but I seriously mean it. It was one of those catalysts that started moving my heart, and mind, and prayers in a direction that when God said, “Go” I went. The only piece of literature that I could say had a greater impact was when Mark Batterson’s All In arrived on my doorstep the very day I heard God’s call.
Anyways, the writer of this article was talking about a day she walked into one of those small country “knick knack” stores that reminded me of what I used to see at the Cracker Barrel where I often ate breakfast. In that store she saw a small picture that asked a question she just could not get out of her mind. “If you knew that you would not fail, what would you attempt?” That question stuck with her, and as I was reading, it also stuck with me. If I was absolutely confident of success, what would I be attempting? Why am I not going for it anyways? This question started “troubling the waters” deep down in my soul.
Jesus asked an impossible question to the man by that poolside. “Do you want to get well?” Like me when I first read that article, 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 our dreams? What are our passions? Who put them there? Why do we have them? What are those things we have given up on ever getting better? Where have we settled when God wants more? A year 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 woken up breathing lear only to find a cat on my chest. I have visited many homes and even spent a week in one that had both cats and dogs. These things were once impossible, but 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 depressive “reality” of pragmatism?
Dear God, h
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.