A crippled man lay by the pool of Bethesda for days, months and perhaps years hoping someone would roll him into the pool for healing. (John 5:1-17)
I visited the pool of Bethesda a few years ago while traveling in Israel. The pool was located directly over some underground springs of water. When the water bubbled up from the spring, people thought an angel was stirring the water and that if they rolled in they would be healed. Believing for a miracle the lame man lay there waiting. But, he never quite made it into the pool. Victimized by unfortunate circumstances, He was left crippled.
I sympathize with this man. A few months ago, I broke my ankle and was lame myself. I had to wear a cast for a few weeks, hobbled around on crutches, graduated to a walking boot and then finally upgraded to an ankle stabilizer. I looked lame, I walked lame. I felt lame. Here’s the thing. It’s easy when we’ve experienced unfortunate events to settle into “lame thinking”. Lame thinkers feel victimized. Lame thinkers feel they have no options in life. Lame thinkers imagine that their circumstances will likely never improve. Jesus approached this man and asked one simple yet profound question, “Do you want to be healed?” Ah, such a profound question.
When our thinking becomes lame we settle for self-limiting and God limiting beliefs. The next time you catch yourself settling for lame thinking, hold a little self-management meeting. Remind yourself that though life may feel difficult, God is still able. Spend a few moments praising Him and thanking Him in advance of what He will do. What He calls you to do. He empowers you to do. End. Of. Story.
Giving Thanks For God’s Faithfulness is the Fix
When I fall into lame thinking I structure my time of thanksgiving around God’s faithfulness in the past, present and future. I ask myself 3 questions:
How has God worked in the past?
Asaph, the writer of Psalm 77 wrote, ‘I will remember the deeds of the Lord”. I make a thankful list of the miracles I have seen God do in the past. As I thank Him for each one, my trust in His faithfulness grows.
What is God doing at this moment in my life?
I may not feel like God is on the move in my life but if I spend a few moments seeking Him, He shows me that He is indeed at work. As I thank Him for what He is doing in the present, I find more faith for the future.
What does God want me to trust Him for in the future?
As I spend time praising and thanking God that He will work in and through me in the future, my faith is re-kindled and my trust revived.
As you move into this Holiday season, structure your praise and thanksgiving around how God has worked in the past, what He is doing in the present and what He will do in the future. I’m guessing your lame thinking will be transformed into soaring faith!
Becky Harling is an author, speaker, and certified coach (The John Maxwell Team). Her recent books, The 30 Day Praise Challenge and The 30 Day Praise Challenge for Parents are helping thousands to develop the habit of praising God so that worry and fear are replaced with more joy, courage, and less anxiety. For more information, visit Becky at BeckyHarling.com.