How Did He Have the Heart to walk?
A man with infirmity for 38 years appears in John chapter 5. Jesus said, “Rise, take up thy bed and walk,” to the bedridden man suffering from a chronic disease. Then, the man was soon cured and took up his bed and walked. It is easy to follow the Word of God when it fits our thoughts. However, it is difficult to follow things we deem impossible. But, how was this ill man able to have the heart to walk when he was bedridden for 38 years and knew that he could not walk because of his worsening disease? Also, how was he able to walk? How can we be like this man and become followers of the Word of Jesus and walk?
The “Heart to Believe” Someone Else
During summer break, my grandchildren came to meet me, however, we did not have much time together. Therefore, one day I specially arranged the time with my grandchildren to visit a brother in Seongju who managed a melon farm. I wanted the kids to try doing some difficult work. We woke up at five thirty and I took them to the farm and picked melons. We all gathered the melons, put them into a large tank, and after being washed they were organized by size. My grandchildren must have felt it was worthwhile work.
After a long time of separation, while being together with my grandchildren, I could see that the heart of faith they had in their mother, father, grandfather, grandmother, and the people around them was big. They did everything they were told to do, did not doubt when I made a joke, and just accepted it. As I saw this image of the kids, I thought, “How great would it be if children had the heart of faith even when they grew up?” One cannot know how precious it is to have the heart of faith in the family, people around us, and in God. There are times when believing in someone can lead to a loss or hardship; however, there is nothing more peaceful and better than being able to believe in the people we live with.
The Level of Faith and the Level of Doubt
Certain conditions of the body, such as blood pressure or temperature, can be measured well because there are tools to check them. However, there are no standards, nor units to measure the “level of doubt” and the “level of faith.” Just as when the blood pressure or temperature exceeds normal standards, it has a bad influence on the body; when the level of faith falls and the level of doubt rises, an unspeakable suffering comes to us. Children, who have grown up under faithful parents, believe in people thus, they are able to make people comfortable around them. However, those who have grown up without the warm care of parents or have not had anyone who sacrifice or help them will eventually doubt other people. Their levels of doubt are high while their levels of faith are low. Therefore, people who believe in themselves and think they are right, converse in words but give discomfort to others because their hearts do not flow with the other person.
If the Level of Faith Rises
Although we say we believe in God, when we do not have the heart of faith in God, He cannot work for us. The more we read the Bible and keep close to Jesus—as we feel the love of Jesus—the level of faith rises and the level of doubt decreases. It is difficult to trust in others when we have the heart thinking we are great and believe in ourselves; it is even difficult to believe in God. When we discover that we cannot believe in ourselves because we are bad, wretched, and dirty, the heart of believing in God grows. Our hearts become peaceful after receiving salvation because Jesus drives out the doubt in our heart and fills it with faith. So, when the level of faith rises, the work of God occurs.
Humbling Our Hearts like the Man with Infirmity for 38 years
What would the man with infirmity for 38 years have thought about as he suffered a chronic disease? He may have had thoughts like, “I thought I was great, I thought I was smart, I thought I could do well in anything . . .” He must have continuously felt his weakness and his incompetence. Therefore, when Jesus said, “Rise, take up thy bed and walk,” although he thought, “My legs are withered to walk . . .” he was able to easily toss away that thought and follow the Word of Jesus and walk.
Thus, God does many things to lower our levels of doubt and raise our levels of faith. He shows us our weakness and foolishness. He doesn’t lead us to follow our own heart but rather to follow the Word of God because we are wretched and must not live the way we want.
People who know the Bible discover themselves in the Words. Although they did not have a disease for 38 years, they know they are no different. They humble their hearts and believe in the Word of Jesus. That is the moment when the work of God that appeared to the man with infirmity for 38 years appears to us, and God is glorified through us. I hope that our levels of doubt fall and the levels of faith rise so that we can serve God in peace.