One of the great mysteries of life as a Christian is our lack of understanding of God’s divine timetable. Why does he do what he does? Why doesn’t he do what we need, what we’ve been asking for, what obviously would make our lives better? Satan massages our doubts about our Father’s wisdom, capability, and love. If we are struggling with need, pain, or disease, and nothing is happening, then logically God must be unloving or unwise or powerless or maybe all three.
One of the greatest outbursts of divine compassion took place at a spring-fed public pool in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate. “Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years” (John 5:3,5). Jesus asked that man if he wanted to be well. Duh!? Do you suppose he would have preferred another 38 years of immobility?
“Get up! Pick up your mat and walk,” said the Savior (verse 8). And he did. In fact, he probably ran.
That dear man had waited 38 years for his miracle. Truth be told, many hundreds of thousands of people will spend their whole lives on earth with a disability and will die with it. We can glorify God both ways—through our struggles and through our healing. I am convinced that our joy and delight in heaven will be in direct proportion to our sufferings on this earth.
I can’t wait to meet that man in heaven.
Pastor Mark Jeske brought the good news of Jesus Christ to viewers of Time of Grace for 18 years. He is currently the senior pastor at St. Marcus Church, a thriving multicultural congregation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mark is the author of several books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics. He and his wife, Carol, have four adult children.