“When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, ‘Do you want to get well?’ The sick man said, ‘Sir, when the water is stirred, I don’t have anybody to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in.'” John 5:6-7

In John 5, we read about a man who had spent nearly 40 years as an invalid. Every day, he managed to get near the pool where he could be made whole; every day, he missed his chance as someone else got to the healing waters before he did.

Then one day, Jesus passed by his way. It seems he didn’t know who was standing before him asking if he wanted to get well. His answer is very telling of someone who had lost hope, who was only going through the motions. Instead of answering with an emphatic “Yes!” or even “If you will, you can” as others had done, he offered excuses.

“It’s not my fault I’m not healed, sir. Someone else beats me to it every day. I don’t have any help. It’s hopeless for me.”

Jesus saw right through the man’s excuses and gave him what he needed – and what he was too weary and downtrodden to ask for.

What kind of excuses do you and I offer Jesus when He calls to us? Are we too busy, or too broken, to answer? What are we afraid to ask him for?

He knows our deepest needs, just like He knew exactly how long that man had been waiting for his miracle. He knows how long we’ve been waiting on our deliverance, too. Let’s not be like this hopeless man, just going through the motions. Let’s live lives full of faith, knowing that just over the next horizon looms a Savior who will bring us into a new life we thought was out of our reach.