“Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water…For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had." John 5:2-4 (KJV)
When I think of this image it brings sadness to my heart. I can just picture steps leading down to this pool with all kinds of sick people lying on them. They wait and watch for the angel to come and slowly walk into the water. They anticipate the moment that the angel’s finger reaches down and stirs the water. They are so sick and have such restrictive movement that when the water was stirred another one always beats them into the pool. They watch someone else become whole as they remain wounded. They are so sick of their sickness.
There lies a great multitude of withered and spiritually sick Christians. They believe in the healing waters of Jesus and believe in His power for making their brokenness whole. They watch for Jesus and pray that He will heal them. What is sometimes misunderstood with broken people is that God stirs our hearts to serve out of the very wound that has defined us. He doesn’t take it away but uses it to heal others which in turn heal our own wounds. This stirring invites us to use our wounds and brokenness for the service of others. In reading God Loves Broken People by Sheila Walsh she poses crucial questions for our consideration. ‘What if our deepest wounds are the very places through which God’s mercy flows to others? What if instead of trying to fix ourselves, we present ourselves – broken and flawed though we are – to be used as He sees fit, for His glory and our good? What if the wounds we beg God to heal, the burdens we plead with Him to remove, are the very things that make us fit for His service?’ p. 130.
Through our brokenness, we have been well-trained. Through His grace, we have been re-made. Through our service we will be made whole. ‘In loves service, only the wounded soldiers can serve’ The Angel That Troubled the Waters, Thornton Wilder. We must remember that it takes us stepping into God’s stirring place for us to be made whole from our own spiritual sicknesses and past troubles.
We must embrace that in God’s army all of His soldiers are wounded and through our wounds we become fit for duty!