“In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.” (John 5:3-4, NKJV)
I’m sure you know this story in John 5 – Jesus heals a paralyzed man sitting by the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem.
Not long ago I was introduced to a short play written by American playwright Thornton Wilder. It is called The Angel that Troubled the Waters and the setting of the play is at this very pool in Jerusalem.
The plot involves a physician who finds himself sick and unable to heal himself. His only hope is to be the next one in the pool once the healing angel arrives. He sits at the edge of the water, waiting for any sign of movement. The angel arrives and asks the physician to step back and let someone else receive the healing. The doctor, in turn, argues that if he were healed, he could help more people.
The angel responds: “Without your wound where would your power be? It is your very remorse that makes your low voice tremble into the hearts of men. The very angels themselves cannot persuade the wretched and blundering children on earth as can one human being broken on the wheels of living. In Love’s service only the wounded soldiers can serve. Draw back.”
Let me suggest that not only does God love you, he wants to work through you. As he shares his love, grace, and mercy to you, he desires that in turn you share those with others. And when God wants to minister to broken people, he uses other broken people to do it.
The Apostle Paul describes it this way: “But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, NIV)
The world doesn’t need a strong you. “In Love’s service only the wounded soldiers can serve.” If you’ve been broken on the wheels of living, you’ve got what it takes to reach other broken people. The world doesn’t need a strong you, it needs a strong Jesus.
I’ll see you in church.
Jim Mann, Ph.D. pastors New Life Church at Robson Ranch. This interdenominational church meets at the Robson Clubhouse on Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. Visit New Life’s website www.NewLifeDenton.org for more information.