Sometimes, the answer can be so simple that we can’t even see it. There’s an episode of Doctor Who where aliens crash into the River Thames and the whole world is shocked that aliens exist, but within the next episode they all think that it’s a hoax. One of the characters can’t believe it saying “They saw it!” to which the titular character explains that even when it is right in front of us we can’t manage to see it, “There’s a scientific explanation for this, you’re thick!”
I wouldn’t be so strong to use that language personally, but as humans we all have those moments when we don’t seem to see the big answer for anything really. For instance there’s a story in John’s Gospel where there’s this guy by a pool called Bethesda and the reason he was there was because he’s trying to get in the pool to get healed, as he couldn’t walk. He’s actually been there for 38 years. Then Jesus walks by and he sees this man (let’s call him Adam). This is what happens:
When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man [Adam] answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man [Adam] was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. – John 5:6-9
Now Adam was there for almost 40 years, and it seems that he is now rather complacent of being where he is, he complains that other people get to the pool before him because of his inability to move, but could you imagine just staying in the same place for 38 years straight? Now I’m not talking about a city, or a country I am talking about the place where you are sitting right now. Imagine you couldn’t move from there at all. You would want to run and get away from wherever you are with exagerrated motion. But this guy was used to it, and the answer was right in front of him. Jesus asks him “Do you want to be healed?” and the man then talks about his environment he has been placed in and why he can’t do anything. Jesus then doesn’t give him a deep spiritual answer, or ask Peter to start playing the keyboard. He tells him straight, the basic answer “Get up, and walk.”
Now sometimes we, as Christians can often look for the deep spiritual answer and see what Jesus wants to do in our lives. I can remember seeing this meme (yes, we’re referencing memes now) where someone asks another “Do your hear the audible voice of God?” to which the other replies “Yes, when I read my Bible aloud”. That sassy comeback is quite similar to what Jesus tells Adam in this passage. Don’t expect anything spectacular, just get on with it! We can look everywhere for the answer but as we will eventually see that the answer was right in front of us.
Now about a month ago I was helping set up at church for Life Kids, now Pastor Matt was setting up the technical side, with iPads and all that goodness and he needed to link the iPads up to the projector, and to do that he needed a code. He was searching for the code, he was phoning up other leaders within the church to see if they knew the code, they didn’t. So we’re all at the front of the church (Pastor Matt, myself and one of the leaders Naomi) and he still can’t seem to find the code, with his back towards the projector he starts looking for the code again, and then suddenly the code just pops onto the screen. He can’t see it, but me and Naomi can and so I just blurt out the code, the Pastor looks at me with bewilderment at how I can be so specific, but he types it in and low and behold it works. He asks how I knew that, I jokingly say divine intervention but then we say that the code was on the projector the whole time. We can often search the whole room for the answer but it actual fact it’ll be hidden in plain sight.
Now if there was a challenge or something to do, I would probably say just get on with it. Whatever it is that we do, we can often think and wait as to what God wants us to do with our own lives. That He will come down with an instruction manual for us and all we have to do is just follow it. But in a way he’s already done that, He gave us not only the scriptures to read and to follow, but He also gave us His beloved son, Jesus. That we may live the way that Christ lived and follow the lessons that Christ taught us.
‘but [Christ] emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.’ – Philippians 2:7-8
‘”Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”‘ – Matthew 28:19-20
May the Lord bless you guys, more stuff to come.