Contemporary English Version (CEV)
38 years. The man suffered, sick, for 38 years, and then Jesus heals him just like that. He thought he had to make it into the pool first, but what he really needed was a miracle from Christ. Can you imagine waiting 38 years for something, only to discover that what you thought you needed most wasn't it at all?
We all get hung up on things. We think that achieving this, or getting that, will make everything better. We think things will be better when... We believe that a certain level of income or relational status or object will improve our lives, and if we manage to acquire it, we usually discover that it can't live up to its promises. If we are not careful, we are constantly disappointed by the things we thought would bring us what we wanted.
It's what makes the wonder of God so enchanting -- God is so much bigger than we are. We can spend eternity plumbing the depths of God, and we will never reach the bottom. There is always more, higher and deeper love, that is so worthy of our wonder and praise. The love and grace of God cannot disappoint us, we will not outgrow them, and we will always be humbled by the grandeur of God.
God is eternally and always good, and he calls us into a life that is lived in awe and amazement of his grace and love. We should be so amazed at how God gives us what we need that we are motivated to find our neighbors and our enemies and love them with the same unceasing and unconditional love with which we are loved.