Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

Fixed Upon Him

Luke 20:18 - Luke 23:29

This post comes from this weekend's reading...

For a moment try to imagine the scene of Bethesda.

Five porches filled to bursting with multitudes of people surrounded a pool of water.

The blind, halt, and withered gathered waiting.

The water in the pool before them had the potential to offer healing if the conditions were right.  The waiting was done out of necessity, for at a certain season the water would be touched by an angel, troubled, and the first person to enter the water would be made whole.

The conditions had to be perfect for the healing to take place.

So, eyes fixed on the water, drawn to the potential for healing, they waited ––all hoping, but each knowing that only one would be healed.

On a certain Sabbath, the Lord came to the pool and saw those who waited there.  He noticed a man who had been afflicted for thirty-eight years.  “When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been a long time now in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?  The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.”  (John 5:6-7 emphasis added)

It seems that having his focus fixed completely on the water wasn’t working.

Sadly, he was fixed on something that could not offer the blessing of which he was in desperate need.

“Jesus recognized in the man a fit subject for a blessing, and said to him:  “wilt thou be made whole?”  The question was so simple as almost to appear superfluous.  Of course the man wanted to be made well, and on the small chance of being able to reach the water at the right moment was patiently and eagerly waiting.  There was a purpose, however, in these as in all words of the Master.  The man’s attention was drawn to Him, fixed upon Him.”  (JTC 207 red, emphasis added)

For the first time, the man’s eyes once drawn and fixed on water that could not heal had turned to the Lord, who could.  The holy in the midst of the mundane.   He turned aside, and He saw it.  “Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up they bed, and walk.  And immediately the man was made whole.”  (John 5:8-9)

“It was Jesus which had made him whole.”(John 5:15)

The lesson captured within this story is taught over and over again in the life of the Lord.

The miracle, the tender behind the mercy, comes after we are drawn to Him, after we are fixed on Him.

John makes it clear ––it was not the water, it was the Lord who had made him whole.

When we shift our eyes from what occupies our attention and focus instead on the Lord, we will discover the holy within the ordinary moments of our life.  We must be wiling to turn aside to see.

I have discovered Him during Sunday service, in the soft breathing of a child sleeping in mother’s arms, safe.  In one line of a hymn which captures the witness of my heart.  In the welcome of a congregation held together by covenant to bear burdens, mourn together, and comfort ––always comfort.

I have felt Him behind prison walls, as youth bound together by decisions once made and now regretted yearn for something more.

I have recognized Him in quiet chapels built into hospital halls.

I have witnessed the power of His love surrounding a circle of trust shared by those bound by addictions fierce who have come to rely on the strength that attends those who are change bound and longing.  His love beckons and they answer.  It calls and they come.

I have seen Him reflected in the heart of one who abandons what is wanted most to give what is needed more.

We can find Him everywhere ––within the walls of a church, a hospital, even a prison.  In the walls of our own home, when we want to know more of the Lord we can discover him in the scriptures, in moments of prayer, in the words of a child.  It is within those sacred moments that we truly become drawn to Him –fixed on Him.

It is discovering Jesus, finding holy moments daily, which will make us whole.

We might have to lay aside the task we are focused on to look for the glory of God in the midst of the ordinary details of each day.

We must learn to focus on the Lord to witness the miracle in the midst of the mundane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emily Freeman