God’s priority is the Kingdom, not my personal comfort or convenience. Remember when Jesus stopped by Bethesda, that pool where people could be healed (John 5:1-15)? There were many disabled people there, yet Jesus picked out this one old guy, walked up to him, and healed him without any indicator of the man’s faith and without anyone asking Him to do it. Why this one, particular man? Why did he walk past many others (I’m assuming) who were younger, more attractive, more deserving, or just plain louder?
Because of who God made this man to be. Because Jesus knew he would obey and handle the coming confrontation with the Jews (vv. 10-11) in a certain way.
He didn’t heal the man because of anything the man deserved.
He didn’t heal the man because He felt sorry for him. (I’m not saying Jesus wasn’t compassionate, just that His primary reason for healing wasn’t compassion. If it was, He would have healed everyone at that pool, not just this one guy.)
He didn’t even heal the man so that the man would worship Him.
So, why? He healed the man because He already had a plan in place for that man’s life.
Let me try to say it one more time: Jesus didn’t heal the man primary to help the man; Jesus healed the man to further Jesus’s own glory. The fact that the man could walk and live a better life was almost a by-product of the situation.
Whenever the Holy Spirit sees an opportunity to glorify Jesus through you, He will take your entire being and set you ablaze with glowing devotion to Jesus Christ. -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (2 July).
That’s how it is for each of us, too. We aren’t saved so that God can give us these awesome, adventurous lives. We aren’t saved because we somehow deserve it or because we believe harder than someone else. He saved me because He already had a plan in place for my life. Read this story alongside part of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:25-34, Seek first His kingdom. Furthering His Kingdom is more important to Him than how I feel, what blessings I get, or what sufferings I must endure. (Read The Sheep and the Grapes for more about this.)
First the Kingdom, then the rest falls in place.
May I look at my life the same way He does.