Sir, I have no one . . . 

Think of how exhausted this poor man must have been as he waited and watched for an opportunity to be the first into the healing waters. Everyone else had someone to help them, but he had “no one” (John 5:7). And perhaps after thirty-eight years, he had given up even trying.

Then one day Jesus came and asked him, “Do you want to be well?” (John 5:6). We would expect the man to say, “Yes, of course!” Instead, he just poured out the disappointment and hopelessness in his heart. But Jesus didn’t need a perfect response; he healed the man anyway.

Just as he did for this man, Jesus seeks us out, even when we have allowed discouragement to settle in our hearts. He doesn’t require that we respond perfectly to the grace he offers us. And even when we’ve given up asking for help or don’t recognize his presence in or around us, he is still there to help us.

Does this man’s situation resonate with you? Perhaps you have waited a long time for a healing or a reconciliation or a change in a difficult situation—maybe even for thirty-eight years! If so, let this story encourage you. Jesus sees you. He knows your situation and comes to your aid. Perhaps, as he did for this man, he will heal you or give you a way out of your difficulties. Or perhaps, instead, he is offering you his grace to sustain you and draw you especially close to his heart. It doesn’t matter if your response is imperfect or if you don’t always recognize his grace or rely on it. He won’t abandon you or stop pouring out his grace.

The man in today’s Gospel story had “no one” to help him. But you have brothers and sisters in Christ who can. They are the hands and feet and face of Jesus who can come to your aid in your time of need. They can support you in practical ways, and they can support you spiritually by interceding for you. So if you’re struggling with disappointment or hopelessness, ask them to pray for you. And even in those moments when you feel that you have no one, don’t forget that you still have the saints and angels in heaven. Know that through their prayers, your hope in God and his loving care for you can be restored.

“Lord Jesus, help me to believe that you can and will help me.”

Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12
Psalm 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9
John 5:1-16


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