It wasn’t at the conference center’s ‘lost and found’ box.  A bracelet my wife gave me was missing.  Think the clasp wasn’t totally snapped in place.  By me.  So, it was hasta la bye-bye to this lovely gift.

Something more serious happens at a religious’ feast Jesus attends in Jerusalem.  At the Sheep Gate, there’s a pool where invalids gather to beg and hopefully be healed.  Like something lost, they need others’ help to be found.

Who comes by that day?  You know.  Jesus of Nazareth notices a man who’s spent a lifetime at this Pool of Bethesda.  Thirty-eight years begging and hoping.  Eking out a living and nothing more.  He’s lost but will he be found?

Jesus sees this man.  Zeros in on him.  Finds out how long he’s been at the pool’s edge.  Thirty-eight interminable years.  Day in and day out.  Month by month.  Seasons coming and going, and still no end in sight.

The paralyzing fog never lifting.  Crippling clouds never clearing.  Hanging on to pipedreams.  Thirty-eight years hopeless.  Ever felt that way?  About a job?  Family?  Life in general?  Possibly you’ll notice a man who comes close by, strangely knowing you and your situation.   Who is he?  Again, you know!

In John 5, Jesus asks this disabled beggar what he wants.  Seems obvious, doesn’t it?  To be healed!  But maybe, just maybe, this fellow would rather wallow in self-pity.  Has gotten used to being dependent and helpless.  Handouts are easier than hard work.  But not this guy.  He wants to get up and go… on his own!  And that’s what he’ll do, thanks to a word from Jesus’ lips.

I wonder what I’m clutching onto that holds me back.  A chokehold of my own making.  Not following Jesus fully because I possess such good excuses, which lets me off the hook.  Reasons that sound reasonable.  Can’t do this.  Can’t do that for X, Y, and Z reasons.  I’m an invalid at least inside.  Stalled while running for cover.  Somewhat lost.

But Jesus draws near.  He won’t let up until I get up and follow Him more closely and faithfully than before.  Not just me.  He’s got you in mind, too.  How about it?  Time to get up?

Join me.  I’d love the company!

Thank you, Jesus, for helping me to serve you.  Amen.

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