Over these past few several months I know that many people have spent a lot of time by a pool. There is no better way to cool off from the hot sun then by splashing around in the cold water.
While I am not personally found of swimming, I did spend some time at the YMCA pool last week at our church’s Back to School Bash. It got me thinking about a man in the Bible that spent a lot of time laying out by the pool. He wasn’t working on his tan though, he was there for another reason.
John 5 records the story of the man who laid by the Pool of Bethesda. The tradition in that day was that an angel would occasionally come down and stir up the water, and then first person to go down into the water would be healed of his infirmities. For that reason, the Bible says that all sorts of sick, blind, and lame people would lay by the pool waiting for the angel to come.
One particular man had been sick for 38 years, but because of his condition, he was unable to be the first person to get in the water. John 5:6 records that Jesus approached this man and asked if he wanted to be healed; Jesus then told the man to stand up, grab his bed, and walk away. And that is exactly what happened.
This man was doing everything that he knew to do. He wanted to be healed, so he was waiting in the right place and trying to do what he needed to do. That is a good model of what we need to do as well. When we set goals for ourselves—college, occupation, marriage, etc.—we need to do all that we can do to make those things happen.
But at the end of the day, it was not this man’s accomplishments that brought him healing; that only came through Jesus Christ. He could never brag that he got himself healed. However, he would not have been healed if he were not doing what he needed to do to help himself. In the same way, we need to do all that we can do to help ourselves, but in the end, every good gift comes from above (James 1:17). But like the man in John 5, we need to do all that we can to help ourselves, but then give the credit to God if He makes it happen.
Enjoy the rest of your summer, and if you spend more time by the pool, let it be a reminder to do all that you can do, but only put your trust in Christ.