Sunday, June 27, 2010


Yesterday, I wrote about the encounter Jesus had with the paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda (Jn. 5:2-16). I suggested that the incident was as much a revealing as it was a healing. It revealed the selfish nature of those who ignored a paralyzed man for thirty-eight years and rushed so that they could be the one healed. I neglected to mention that his healing also revealed the true identity of Jesus: Messiah. After all, He did enter Jerusalem through the Sheep Gate.

Pools have a way of revealing lots of things. If you are over weight (that is me), or if you have scars, stretch marks, warts, or really ugly feet, the whole world will know. As I have mentioned in the past, my wife has purchased a pool for our back yard, and once it is usable, all our neighbors will see our physical flaws. But from mid-May until today, it is a work in progress. Because I am limited by blood clots in my lungs, degenerative spine disease, congestive heart failure, and just plain old age, the intended installation of said pool was "assigned" to our son-in-law. But because he has spent the last month re-landscaping our front yard (another battle all its own), he has yet to have an opportunity to provide us with a "swimmin' hole." It hasn't helped that he, my wife, and I have argued for a month over where it should be put, and how it should be done. Believe me, I am being kind in describing the atmosphere around here!

I wish I could say that our "discussions" were reasonable based on the fact that only one of us can read a scale drawing and visualize the outcome. I would like to say that my wife wanted our son-in-law to do the work because she is worried about my health (partially true, but in reality, she just wants the pool operational). I would like to say that the "landscaper" was being paid, because then I could fire him. I would like to say that our failure to work together in a Christ-like fashion is their fault. But alas, I cannot. This "pool from hell" (see my post of June 4, 2010), has merely revealed that our sin-natures are alive and well, and living in Indiana. I have seen the enemy, and it is "we."

In all actuality, the pool does not deserve to be viewed as an abomination from hell. It is more accurately a revelation from God that He is not finished with me, even though I often think He is making a lot better progress on me than on everyone else. This pool is a tool of God to reveal my lack of humility, my concern more for how it is done than for the persons with whom I argue, and to show I am lacking in Christian love. It is so depressing to have been a graduate of Bible College and Seminary, to have been a pastor and a Bible teacher, only to discover that a fourteen foot inflatable pool is able to reflect my image even while still in the box. And because of what I see, I am so ashamed. Prayerfully, I won't be like the man who sees his reflection in the "mirror" and as soon as he walks away, forgets what kind of man he actually is (Jam. 1:21-25). Humility does not come easy, but if one is willing to see his own reflection in life's circumstances and compare what he sees with how the Lord is pictured in His Word, it is instantaneous. Life is full of pools of reflection that are ignored by the majority of the multitudes, but the Lord "heals" the one(s) who are willing to look into them.

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