I stand at the door and knock. Whoever hears my voice and opens the door I will come in to him and will dine with Him and he with me. (Rev. 3:20)
A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, “Do you wish to get well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.” (John 5:5-8)
I hate surprises. I read the end of books first and fast forward movies to relieve the pressure of not knowing what will happen next. I have a picture of me standing at the threshold of a patio full of friends who had gathered to surprise me on my 30th birthday. As I approached the doorway I could hear excited whispers and immediately clued in to what was coming. If I’d had time to think about it I might have turned around but momentum pushed me forward and through the threshold! There, I was welcomed by the joy of people who loved me. I remember lots of doorways over the years, some happy and some sad, — some I ran through and others I felt dragged through. Each one invited me to enter, even though I never knew quite what would happen next. “Come live life with Me!” Jesus keeps saying. “I am knocking. Open the door. Let’s eat!”
Thresholds. They are doorways of invitation or at least, that is the way I have come to view them. We relate most readily to the ones that physically, emotionally or relationally initiate change in our lives like getting married, having a baby, starting a new job, losing a loved one, or becoming ill. But, are you also aware of the spiritual thresholds that exist all throughout our lives?
These relate to the work of the Spirit in us and, if we learn to listen to the inner urgings of our souls, we discover brilliant and beautiful invitations to be formed by the hand of God.
Really! Jesus stands at these entrances and knocks. We become aware of the knocking when and as we clue in to our own internal life. Curiosities, yearnings, distinct observations while reading the Word or worshipping — a lack of peace, a sense of being awakened to a Voice that says, “Come!” Listen and follow His voice. It’s not necessary that we know what will happen next, only that we will find Jesus waiting for us with a table prepared, mud for our eyes, and fish for our tummies!
Something in me identifies this morning with the man by the pool who feels helpless to get into the healing water. Tears burn in my eyes as I read that “Jesus saw him lying there” and knew “his condition”. My heart aches as I listen to the man tell Jesus that no one will help him get into the pool and suddenly, I hear knocking! I become aware of my own soul wound that relates to feeling invisible sometimes and find myself standing at a threshold. I have a sense of what’s beyond because I have read the end of this story! So, I lean forward to peer in and see Jesus seeing me and asking, “Do you wish to get well?”
It is an invitation to wholeness that is irresistible and while I cannot know what exactly will happen next, I know by now that Jesus always calls me toward life!
“Get up!” There is power in His voice and healing in His eyes and before I know it, I am upright, embraced and walking — welcomed with joy by Jesus who is ever faithful to form holiness in me and heal my life with love .
“What a gift it is that you always see me and know me, Jesus. It revives my soul and makes me happy! Thank you for the thresholds in life that invite me to Your heart, heal my wounds, and form my soul. Please help me to hear you knocking. Amen.”
What about you?
Are you aware when you are standing at a threshold, a doorway of invitation to healing and new life?
Can you hear when Jesus knocks? Can you sense your inner life? Your desires curiosities and angst?
Do you want to be well?
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