What's Your Eye On?

In John 5 we find the beautiful and well known story of Jesus healing the man at the pool of Bethesda. The passage tells us that the man has been sat at the edge of the water for 38 years, part of a crowd of poorly people all waiting with hope for the waters to stir. The belief at the time was that the first person in to the pool after the waters had moved would be healed. But I wonder how much hope this man had left? He’d waited for 38 years, but without anyone to help him he was never able to beat the rest of the crowd and get to the water first.

But Jesus comes and notices Him. After years of waiting alone with no-one to help him, Jesus sees him … and heals him!! – ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’ He says to him … and the man does just that!

As the man walks away from the pool, full of joy and bursting with excitement, he meets some of the religious leaders of the time … and the first thing they do is to tell him off!!!

I wonder if you’ve ever felt like that man? Have you ever found yourself in a conversation like the one the man had with the religious leaders? Perhaps you’ve been bubbling full of good news, eager to share stories of breakthrough from your last session – the child who has always sat on the edge who joined in with a game for the first time – or the young person who finally felt safe enough to let their guard down and take part in the group chat – only to find that the good news is seemingly lost because the toilets had been found in a state the next morning?

So easily, our eyes can be drawn to the wrong thing!

After such a miraculous healing, you would expect the leader’s response to be at least one of curiosity, if not total awe and wonder!!! But the religious leaders missed it. They missed the miracle.

You see, the problem was that, strictly speaking, the man was breaking the rules – he’d been healed on a Sabbath day and on a Sabbath day, jewish law stated that he wasn’t allowed to do any work – which included carrying his mat.

They were so preoccupied with his ‘misbehaviour’ that they missed the massive miracle that was actually going on right in front of their eyes!

It might sound incredulous to us – how do you miss such a blatantly obvious, incredible moment?

But, I wonder how often I have done the same … Are there times when I’ve missed incredible, beautiful moments going on in the lives of the kids I am working with because I’ve allowed my attention to be drawn first to their misbehaviour or the fact that they are not fully following the rules?

Behaviour that might be inconvenient can draw our attention very quickly – but do we notice the good as easily?

I don’t want the eyes of a religious leader that have become so preoccupied with my own programme or agenda that I miss the miracles!

I’m praying for eyes that notice where God is at work – eyes that draw my attention to His wonder and my draw heart to thankfulness.

If you would like to press into Wonder – check out our sister site, Living Well! – Packed full of inspiration and ideas for how we can build healthy rhythms into our lives and walk in step with the unforced rhythms of grace that Jesus describes in Matthew 11, you’ll find a whole section on building a rhythm of Wonder that helps you notice where God is at work in your life each day!