Have you ever tried to accomplish something and kept failing at it, so you gave up trying? No matter what you did, adjustments you may have made, or alterations to you calculations; nothing seemed to work.
John records for us a similar situation. Here we have a guy who had an infirmity for thirty-eight years. Jesus comes up to the man and asks him what seems to be a rhetorical question. He says to the man “Do you want to be made well.” (See John 5:6) Why would Jesus ask this question? You would think that after thirty-eight years of being sick this man would obviously want to be healed. The man’s response to Jesus is even more mind boggling than Jesus’ question to him. Instead of replying with an immediate “Yes,” he gives Jesus a bunch of excuses explaining why he was sick for thirty-eight years. (See John 5:7) After this Jesus tells the man to get up, take up his bed, and walk; and the man immediately does. (See John 5:8-9) This tells me that the man could have been healed, but after trying everything he could and it didn’t work, he quit.
There are going to be times in your life where you are going to want to quit, give up, or throw in the towel. Don’t do it! Paul tells us that we will reap a great harvest if we just don’t quit. (See Galatians 6:9) There are also going to be times where God has already told you what to do and instead of praying about it, disobeying, or procrastinating; you just have to get up and walk.
It took Thomas Edison 1,000 tries to invent the light bulb. What would have happened if he would have stopped at attempt 999? We would probably be talking about someone else who invented the light bulb. So whatever you’re attempting, don’t quit. Stop making excuses and start executing. Quit lying around in your mess and start being a message.
- What does this passage teach us about God? How does it apply to you?
- Are you making excuses or are you executing?
- Is there a next step that God has told you to take but you are praying about it, disobeying, or procrastinating?