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Fruit of the Spirit

peachLongsuffering - Patiencepeach
Waiting by the Pool

Text Version
by Linda Sue Pochodzay Edwards

           Molly was growing more and more impatient as the minutes seemed to drag on. "How much longer is this going to take?" she whined. "I'm getting really tired of waiting. I just want to go home!"


           At that very moment, her older sister, Carrie, came bursting through the double doors of the school building and climbed into the back seat of the car. "Hey, Mom! Guess what?" Carrie exclaimed excitedly. "We are going on a field trip to the zoo next week!"

           During the entire ride home, Carrie continued chattering about her upcoming field trip. She was just as excited about seeing the elephants as she was about seeing the sharks in the aquarium tank and the colorful parrots in the tropical exhibit.


Molly, however, was not a bit interested. "I'm tired of riding in this old car. How much longer until we get home?" she whined again.

           "Molly, just look out the window," her mother said quietly. "I think you will recognize our house."

           When the car was safely parked in the garage, Molly unbuckled her seat belt and jumped out of the car. "Finally!" she shouted to no one in particular. "Finally, I am home and I don't have to wait anymore!"


           Molly ran to the family room and slumped on the couch. She picked up the remote control and started flipping through the channels. Finding nothing she wanted to watch on TV, she started whining yet again. "It's just not fair! My favorite show is not on yet, and I have to wait AGAIN! I always have to wait for everything! I HATE waiting!"

           Carrie had heard enough of Molly's whining and complaining. She walked into the family room and sat on the couch beside her little sister. "Molly," she began. "You are not the only person who has to wait. Everybody has to wait for things. I have to wait a whole week to go to the zoo, and it isn't easy. I am so excited. I think I just can't wait any longer, and I want to go NOW, but I know the time will come and it will be so much fun when the waiting is finally over. It will be much better if you learn to have patience."


"What does THAT mean?" Molly asked.

           "PATIENCE means waiting without whining or complaining. Just try thinking of something good while you are waiting, or try singing a song. It will make the waiting time easier and you will be happier," Carrie explained.

           Molly wasn't convinced that Carrie's suggestion would work, but she agreed to try it the next time she had to wait for something.

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           As Jesus was going to the city of Jerusalem to celebrate a holiday with his family and friends, he decided to visit the pool. This pool was not an ordinary pool like you and I know. This was a very special pool and the people had given it a name. This special pool was called BETHESDA.


           The Pool of Bethesda was where people of the community could come to get the water they needed. It was a very busy place. It was built with five porches around it so there was plenty of room for people to chat and catch up with the local news while they were filling their water jugs. It was also a place where many sick people gathered, hoping that someone would feel sorry for them and give them food to eat, or give them money so they could visit a doctor. But the most important reason the sick people came to the pool was because at certain times, an ANGEL would come to the pool and stir up the water. The very first person to get into the pool when the water was stirred by the angel would be healed of whatever sickness they had and would leave totally well.


           Sick people came from miles around, hoping to see the angel and hoping to be the first person in the pool when the angel touched the water. Some people brought their mats and blankets and stayed near the pool all day and even slept there at night. They did not want to leave and risk the possibility of being away when the angel came.

           While Jesus was at the pool, a certain man caught his attention. The man was lying on a dirty, raggedy sleeping bag, and it was obvious that he had been there a very long time. Jesus walked over to speak with him.

           "Do you want to be well?" Jesus asked the man.

           "Well, yes. I do," the man answered. "I have been sick for 38 years and, of course, I want to be well. I have...


                     and waited...

                               and waited...

           The problem is, I have no one to help me get into the water when the angel comes. I try so hard to get into the water, but someone always gets into the pool before I do. It is so discouraging! Then I just lie back down on my old sleeping bag and keep waiting... and keep hoping that the next time maybe someone will be kind enough to help me."

Jesus at the Pool of Bethesda


           Jesus felt sad that the man had been sick and had waited for so long, and he wanted to help. Jesus looked at him with compassion and gently said, "Stand up. Roll up your sleeping bag, and walk!"

           The man did exactly what Jesus told him to do. Miraculously, he stood up on his feet that he hadn't been able to use for 38 years! He rolled up his sleeping bag, and he began to walk. He could hardly believe it! He was instantly healed!

           Immediately, there was a buzz of excitement rumbling through the crowd around the pool.

           "Did you see that?" one person asked in wonder.

           "Yes!" exclaimed another. "That man was healed and the angel wasn't even here!"


           Another person shouted out, "I know that man! He's been here longer than I can remember. We have seen a real miracle!"

           There were some people though, who were not very happy about the miracle. The man had been healed on the SABBATH DAY. The Sabbath Day was a special day for resting, and no work was supposed to be done on that day. The leaders of the temple saw the man and confronted him. "Why are you carrying your sleeping bag?" they asked. "Don't you know that is work and you should not be working on the Sabbath Day?"

           The man couldn't believe that they were angry at him. After all, a great and wonderful thing had just happened to him, and he expected everyone to be as happy as he was. He tried to explain, "I have been sick for 38 years and I have just been healed. The man that healed me told me to pick up my bed and walk, and so I did."

           "And just who is the man that healed you?" the temple leaders asked with a scowl?

           "I don't know who he is and I don't know where he went," the man replied, as he walked to the temple to worship God.


           When he went inside the temple, he was surprised to see Jesus. Jesus saw him and took a moment to speak to the him saying, "Now that you are well, make sure you do not sin." The man nodded and left, then told the temple leaders that he knew who it was that had healed him and pointed toward Jesus. After waiting so long for the angel to come stir the water in the pool, Jesus had healed him simply by speaking to him!

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  • What was the name of the pool?
  • Why was the sick man waiting by the pool?
  • How long had the sick man been waiting?
  • Who healed the sick man?
  • Which Fruit of the Spirit did we learn about in this story?


    It is hard to patient, but in the end, God will reward you.



    "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
    longsuffering, gentleness, goodness,
    faith, meekness, temperance:
    against such there is no law" (Galatians 5:22-23).



    "I waited patiently for the Lord; and he
    inclined unto me, and heard my cry" (Psalm 40:1).


    Dog and boy praying

    Dear Jesus, thank You for the stories that
    are teaching us to be more like You. Help me
    learn to be patient by waiting calmly for the
    good things You have for me.
    In Your Name I pray. Amen.


    John 5:1-16
    Galatians 5:19-26



               The Fruit of the Spirit

    fruit divider


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