You Want To Talk About Hopeless?


Based on John 5:1-9

You want to talk about hopeless? I’ll tell you about hopeless. Thirty-eight years ago my legs stopped working. Things like walking, and running, and playing ball in the streets – shot to pieces. You know what happens when you can’t walk or work or play for thirty-eight years? Your friends stop showing up. You pull yourself along by your hands until you reach an empty street corner, and there you spend your days, hoping that someone will toss you a scrap of food or coin. You also start spending your time at places like the Sheep Gate pool.

You don’t want to know about the Sheep Gate pool. It’s a sick place. Literally. The place is littered with hopeless people. The filthy, the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. All desperate, all miserable, all hoping for some sort of miracle. No healthy person ever comes down to the pool. Just being there sucks the life and hope out of you.

I lay by that pool of misery for years, desperately hoping that I could be the first one into the water when it was stirred by the angel. Yeah right. Who was I fooling? When you’ve got dead legs and no friends, there’s not much chance of getting into the pool. It’s a hopeless life.

But yesterday everything changed. This healthy, normal looking guy comes down to the pool and picks his way through the bodies until he’s standing right over me. And he asks me if I want to be healed. I think he’s talking about the pool, so I tell him that I’ve got nobody to put me in the pool.

Then the strangest thing happens. He tells me to pick up my bed and start walking. As he says the words, I feel bones popping in my legs. Joints slide back into place and decayed muscle are rebuilt. My body obeyed his words, and I stood up and started walking.

I found out later that this guy was named Jesus. He must be more than a man. Not just because of his power, but also because of his compassion. He’s a friend to the hopeless, and he brings light to black places. He came and found me in the midst of all that muck and misery, and he gave me hope. How can you not love someone like that?

Do you remember when Jesus found you? Do you remember when he brought you hope, even when you were hopeless?

+photo by the_jim

Stephen Altrogge

I'm a husband, dad, writer. I drink too much coffee and know too much about Star Wars. I created The Blazing Center. I've also written some books which people seem to like. You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook