I’ll admit it. I am a compulsive expiration date checker. On items that I find in the fridge, if it is close to passing the date of expiration I will pass. I think it all goes back to a specific time in my life where I watched my dad take a big chug out of a milk carton without checking the date. And you guessed it…the stuff (now simi-solid) in the carton was way beyond the point of expiration. Nasty!
We are used to things having a certain shelf life. Beyond that point we tend to write them off. It’s not just food items that we do this with. Many of us are guilty of looking in areas of our own lives or the lives of others and seeing them as if they have going beyond the point of expiration.
It’s too far gone.
There is no hope.
Jesus encoundtered a man in a similar place of life. In John 5 we read about a man who had been in his paralyzed condition for 38 years. Jesus heart goes out to the man because He knows that his condition can change. He isn’t past the point of expiration. But when Jesus asks him a simple question, “Would you like to get well?”, the man’s response isn’t what you maybe would expect.
In his response to Jesus we see him begin to point out the challenges instead of seeing the possibilities. All he could see we’re the obstacles. It was like his focus was on an expiration date for his life that was past the point of no return.
He didn’t have anyone to pick him up.
No one to carry him to the pool.
Someone always beat him in.
The date of opportunity continued to pass him by. Jesus had a solution for this man. The solution went beyond the water of a pool. The solution went beyond the man’s excuses. The solution went beyond what the man thought might be possible. At the word of Jesus this man was healed.
All too often we see the expiration date. We see the challenges with how this can ever be useful in the condition that it is in. We have reasons to back up our thinking. The expiration date is clearly seen.
Jesus sees beyond all of that and helps to open our eyes to what can’t be seen. His ways, His thoughts and His abilities go far beyond ours. Instead of just seeing why something can’t change or even growing used to “this is just the way it is” mindsets in our lives, we need to learn to get our eyes off of the expiration date and back onto Jesus.