‘Do you want to be made well?’ …Jesus said to him, ‘Stand up, take your mat and walk.’ …and he took up his mat and began to walk (John 5:1-15).Wellness isn’t just about the (physical) body. In Jerusalem, there was a man lying by the Sheep Gate where there is a pool of water. It is said that during certain seasons an Angel of the Lord comes down and causes the pool of water to stir up. It is believed that the first to enter into the water during this time would be healed. Of course there would be any number of people at any given time waiting to get in to this water. And as one could imagine, in this kind of survival of the fittest existence many people leave unhealed. When Jesus comes along and sees this man whom he knows has been coming to the pool for 38 years, his question as to whether the man wants to be made well is rhetorical. He wouldn’t be hanging out at the pool if he didn’t want to be made well. Knowing this, Jesus gives him a command; “Stand up, take your mat and walk!” Now the man has a choice to make. Some action has to be taken. He can either continue to believe in the water or take a chance and believe in the word of Christ. He has everything to gain and nothing to lose except perhaps another 38 years.
There is a difference between going after something because of what you can get out of it and going after something because you believe in its power or authority to change or transform for not only your life but the lives of others. A champion athlete learns through focus and discipline that being the best brings him fame and glory. Not until the champion realizes that focus and discipline also helps to increase self-confidence, positivity, and drive, then uses the benefits of that gift to help others gain focus and discipline, that it may enhance other lives in whatever they choose to pursue. Elijah was anointed with the gift of prophecy, yet he was running away from the people to whom he was to prophecy. God directed him to go back to the “wilderness” that existed in the city of Damascus! God has a plan and a purpose for the gifts he has given each us. He will protect us in his plan and he will guide us in his plan. In the end we will have participated in his greatest reward; that being the legacy of God’s enduring love.