Dry Wells and Deep Pools

No way out, no way up… alone and afraid. You know the feeling. We celebrate transitions today. So this seems an odd place to begin our message. But I can tell you for sure. Every pre-school and kindergartener headed for the next school up knows these feelings. Do I have to change? Who will go with me? No grade school kid watchin’ the tests be handed out, or worse, handed back, hasn’t had this thought. “Is there any way outta this?” H. S. Srs. are on top o’ the world. But most are about to get covered in a mountain of debt. Your degree asks a question: is there a job out there?! O yes, alone and afraid. And all this before we think on the feelings of those we remember, whose absence leaves us feeling deep down a dry well. And all this before we think on our feelings for those who have and do keep watch and ward for us. ‘In uniform and out, from the military to the police & firefighters, to the teachers, to the doctors & the nurses and all the rest who keep us free, safe, healthy, whole. And all this, before we deal with our own no ways out/up/lonely/scared.

Enter Joseph. This is after he gets that Technicolor Dream Coat and before he gets famous as Assistant-Pharaoh-with-food-in-a-famine. His brothers have had enough of what they see as his dreamin’ and schemin’ at their expense. So they dump him down a dry well with neither a way out or up. And ‘truth is, most of us have been there ourselves. And will be again. Sorry about that! And when we are, we all ask, just like Joseph, “From whence does my help come?” If you have a cell phone, you’ve almost certainly experienced this. You drive into a tunnel. You walk into some space or place where the walls are too thick to let a signal pass. You’re suddenly unreachable. And you can’t get a word out either. Friends, how often have you had a spirit time just like that phone time? Are you in a place like that right now in your spirit-life? Granted, there’s no record of what Joseph thought or prayed from that dry well. But I’m pretty sure of four things. 1st, his prayer was, “Help!” Ours too. 2nd, the black hole doesn’t still our voice, it amplifies it. Like a megaphone. So 3rd, remember this. When you’re in a hole, and lonely, in the dark and distress, the sound of your prayers is louder in heaven. God hears you keener, the deeper in trouble you are! It’s a rule! 4th, when down a deep well, don’t look around at the dark, look up at the light. It changes everything! Doubt it? I’ll show you. (KC Dean: pt O overhead/below nose <>)

Whatever is changin’ in your life, goin’ to/movin’ to/done with school, protected or protecting, remembering with sadness or rejoicing in love, I invite you to take heart: our Bible faith is not all about dry wells. Instead it offers deep pools. Witness the saint-in-waiting by the pool of Bethesda. 38 years, so close yet so far, and will not get into the healing waters, for lack of help or courage, or both. And then along comes Jesus! 38 years lying there! ‘Hard to imagine when help and healing seem so near. Maybe not. Let me offer a different image, same issue. We saw a video at Conference the other day. A business man steps on a long escalator, briefcase in hand. A woman does the same. Maybe they’re 10 steps apart. 2/3s of the way up, the escalator stops! At 1st, they just stand there. The camera pans the building floors. Empty. They’re alone on the moving stairs, now not moving. They begin to cry out, “Help! We’re stuck on the escalator! Can anybody hear us? Let us off? Help us out? Somebody call 911! Help us, Lord, help us!

You and I, we may not have lain by some healing pool, decades of years. But LOTS of us have lived lots of our days as though we were stuck on an escalator, for heaven sakes. ‘In our personal life, our family life, our church life, when all we really had to do was take a step! Here’s a Bible rule worth remembering. Don’t ask for a miracle when all you haveta do is… move!!! That’s it. Just move. Step out, step up, roll over if you must, just move…with a faith that God will provide the deep waters we need if only we will come to the waters! If you’re stuck, just ask your self this question. What’s keepin’ me, keeping us, from moving? Jesus asks that old fella by the waters explicitly, “Do you want to be healed?” And that brother had to make a move, in the 1st most important place of all… in his soul! He had to decide to answer yes! Yes to Jesus, yes to God, yes to wellness, wholeness, saved-ness! And when he did Jesus took care of the rest. You see, the pool of love, compassion, power for good and for God was deeper. ‘Wider. ‘More stirred-by-the-Spirit, in Jesus’ eyes, than all the water in the all the best of all the Bethesda Pools, that ever were or are, or ever will be! If you’re stuck: move, your hands, your feet, but first, your soul. Move toward Jesus, and he will free you to pick up your bed and walk.

Look to the cup today, it’s a healing, saving-pool-in-your-hand. Move. Drink. And see how you walk when you rise! In dry wells, speak up, look up. Beside God’s deep pools, get movin’, get in/up, get goin’, in Jesus’ name!



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