"When Jesus saw him lying there and knew he had already been there a long time, he said to him, 'Do you want to be healed?'" (John 5:6).
Complainers are easy to identify. For the complainer, life is always difficult, work is overwhelming, family is stressful, and other people are problems. In a pound of joy, the complainer will find the ounce of misery.
Yet Jesus has a way of exposing our self-centered complaints and putting our issues in proper perspective. One passage of scripture that helps shatter our complaining-attitudes is found in John 5. It records that while in Bethseda, Jesus visited a pool of water where hundreds of crippled and sick individuals would come hoping for miraculous healing. According to traditional lore, an angel sent from God would occasionally stir the water and the first person to enter the pool would be healed. Near the pool Jesus spotted a crippled man who was unable to use his legs. Because of his disability he never was able to make it to the pool first. He sat by that pool hoping to be healed for thirty-eight years! That's a long time to wait to be healed!
Writing on this passage, Matthew Henry notes, "Shall we, who perhaps for many years have scarcely known what it has been to be a day sick, complain...when many others...have scarcely known what it has been to be a day well?"
In the midst of life-long misery a crippled man waited patiently for healing from the Lord. How can we, who experience such temporary and fleeting misery, then use it as an excuse for complaint and grumbling? Our God is good---therefore live in the joy of that goodness!