Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Don't just put on your pot of coffee...ASK!



* This was my "cup of coffee" ezine devo to my Northside ladies last week and just thought I'd share it with you here on the blog...

John 5:1-8
“Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?" "Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me." Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.”


Do you believe that God is still in the miracle working, healing, restoring business today? I sure do!

A big key to getting what we need is asking. The Bible says in James 4 that we don’t have because we don’t ask. This is often the case with our relationship with God but also in our relationship with others. How many times do we just not think to ASK?

Consider this man who had been an invalid for 38 years. The scripture tells us here in verse 7 that he said, “I have no one to help me into the pool…” This had been his excuse, for all that time! You might say, “well, he was an invalid. Someone should have noticed!” Whatever the case, consider that he might not have been waiting so long for healing had he simply opened his mouth and said, “Um, could somebody give me a hand into the pool here?” But he didn’t. And therefore, until Jesus arrived on the scene 38 years into things, nothing happened. Many times people do not truly want help. They have come to enjoy their excuses. When Jesus came on the scene here he didn’t allow the man to wallow in his excuse anymore, he simply said, “get up and walk!” and that was that.

Have you ever expected people around you to be mind readers? And then you got mad because they didn’t do something you longed for them to do? It happens more than you think. Years ago in the first church we pastored, a lady was quite upset with my husband one Sunday. At the close of the service she came to my husband at the door and said, “Pastor, on Tuesday night, I had a pot of coffee on and I was just waiting for you to stop by and visit with Bob and I, but you never did. My feelings were kind of hurt. I had prayed about it and just felt the Lord tell me to be ready, that you were going to stop by, and so I put on a pot of coffee and waited and waited, but you never came.” My husband said, “well sister, that’s because it definitely wasn’t God speaking. First of all, I had a board meeting on Tuesday night. Second, I absolutely hate coffee!” They actually shared a good laugh over that but my husband went on to say, “Alice, if you want me to stop by or have Deanna and I to the house to fellowship with you, you’ll have to do more than pray about it or put on your pot of coffee. You’ll have to actually give me an invitation and then we’ll be more than happy to come.” A few weeks later upon invitation, we went over to their home for tea and coffee and spent some time with them.

That might sound like a really silly story, but how many of us have expectations, hopes, prayers, desires that we never mention to God or anyone else and then we get all whipped up when our needs or even our wants are not met? In the beginning of our marriage, I used to get upset with my husband when he would not automatically take the initiative and hold my hand while we were out and about at places. Most of the time he was clueless that I was upset about anything. I finally realized how silly that was. I simply started taking the initiative and reached for him and took his hand, or I would simply ask him to take my hand, give me a hug, a kiss or whatever it was I felt I needed. The same thing was accomplished, and all I had to do was ask.

Let your desire be known to God and to others. God is the ultimate need meeter and is always there. If you need forgiveness, ask him! If you need healing, ask him! Even though he already knows, he loves to hear you ask.

People are more limited and cannot always meet our level of expectation, now should we expect them to at times. There are occasions where our expectations are unrealistic. However there is a much greater chance of getting help with our needs when asking than to stay silent and just hope they read our minds.

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