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Summary: Someone once said that "Time heals all wounds." If I were to look back at all the physical battle scars I've managed to get over the years, and how they've become little more than memories, I might be inclined to think that statement is true.

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HEALING OLD WOUNDS

JOHN 5:1 9

One of the things our children did quite frequently when they were younger was come running to Laura or I saying Boo Boo...wanting us to kiss it and make it better. Most of the time it is so minor that he often forgets exactly where the boo boo is by the time he gets to us. But I still thrill at the prospect that he comes to me believing that I can make it better.

In my life I've also had many boo boos. As I look back it almost seems that at various times in my life I was an accident waiting to happen. Cut..bruises..burns.. more stitches than I can count...even had my finger tip nearly severed twice...one time by a donkey....

And if we were to sit around and swap war stories we would discover that in each of our lives there have been many times where we have been "wounded" to some extent or another.

Someone once said that "Time heals all wounds." If I were to look back at all the physical battle scars I've managed to get over the years, and how they've become little more than memories, I might be inclined to think that statement is true.

But does time really heal all wounds? I've heard that all my life, as you have...but it isn't true. Time does not heal all wounds. Much more than time is needed to heal many of the wounds we've received.

I suspect that there are some here this morning that need to have some old wounds healed...wounds of the spirit. There are wounds deep down inside some people that still hurt when they are touched...hurts that still cause pain...and continually remind us that we are not whole.

How do we cope with life when our spirits are sore? How can we handle life when that part of us that is the very source of our energy and strength is wounded and just won't heal?

I want to look at a man this morning who had his share of wounds... some very evident...and yet others that were hidden so deep that from a casual glance we might miss them completely.

READ 5:1 9a (THEN PRAY)

I just read to you the the familiar story of some poor old guy at the pool who had been sick for 38 years. Now let me tell you, that is a long time...almost as long as I've been alive.

Now, if we would simply read through this story we could say that this was the story of a physical healing...and has little if anything to do with a wounded spirit. So there is not much we can learn from this story...right? Not so fast.

This man had been ill for 38 years. And for many of those years he had been brought to this pool beside the sheep gate, on the northern side of the temple at Jerusalem. It was here that this man, along with many others, waited to be healed.

The Scripture says that at certain times the waters of this pool would stir and that the first one to enter the troubled waters would be physically healed.

I think it is safe to assume that the people who brought him back and forth to the pool would also have put him as close to the edge of the pool as possible to increase his chances of receiving his healing... yet he could never seem to be the first one to enter in.

But still he came, on a regular basis hoping to be healed...hoping that maybe someone would help him in...or even push him in if need be, just so he could get in there first.

He was known as an invalid...and an amazingly unlucky one at that. As long as he had been there, he should have has some kind of seniority or something. But time after time someone else would beat him to the water and he would watch as they would be miraculously healed by the power of God.

Here is a man that had to know the power of God was real...because time after time he would miss out as others received that healing touch...right before his very eyes. Put yourself in this mans shoes for just a minute.

Year after year...decade after decade he watches...and strives...and sees so many others receive their miracle while he is still laying there likely getting worse instead of better.

If we could see this man...take a good look at his face...what might we see? Do you think there may be more here than just a physical need? I wonder if we could detect any emotional wounds? I believe the evidence is clearly there if we look closely.

In fact, the truth is that the physical condition he had was not nearly as crippling after all those years as the emotional wounds... his sense of helplessness...his feelings of being abandoned...of worthlessness...and shame.

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