Thursday, June 7, 2012

Eureka! Springs and More

HOPE S.H.A.R.E.D. (Share How Abba Relates Every Day)

Palace Bath House, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

My husband and I enjoyed a quick getaway to Eureka Springs, Arkansas while two daughters went to church camp and the third got spoiled by grandparents.
The first afternoon, we caught the trolley downtown, shopped the quaint stores, hiked paths not on the map,  marveled at a historical "haunted" hotel, caught a $10 limosuine with a mock fireplace inside back to our bed and breakfast, ate chicken fried streak and the works, and finally, exhausted, watched the Oklahoma City Thunder win.
The next day, we hiked to see local "must sees", ate tasty catfish, went to an exotic cat rescue center, ate an awesome prime rib dinner, walked around the Great Passion Play campus (play not scheduled on Sunday), and relaxed.  I would recommend Eureka Springs if you live anywhere nearby. (Next time we will watch the Great Passion Play).
The history of Eureka Springs intrigued me.  Before 1850, only Indian legends spoke of the "magical waters" of Eureka Springs.  In 1856, Dr. Alvah Jackson,  the first white settler to "discover" the healing springs, used the healing waters to cure his son of an eye ailment.  The waters were later used at "Dr. Jackson's Cave Hospital" for combatants during the Civil War.  After the war, Dr. Jackson sold "Dr. Jackson's Eye Water" for a profit.
In 1879, word about the water spread quickly after the doctor's friend and hunting companion, Judge J.B. Saunders, was cured of a crippling disease at Basin Spring.  Mr. Saunders promoted the springs with his considerable influence.  People flocked to the area in search of water.  The word "eureka" means "I found it!".   By the end of 1879, an estimated 10,000 people had found the water and moved into the area.  Only two years later, Eureka Springs was the fourth largest city in Arkansas, all because of water.

This account reminded me of a story in the Bible, where sick people flocked to the water of the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem.  The story, found in John 5, tells about a man sick for thirty-eight years, waiting among the crowd at the pool for his turn to get into the healing waters.  
John 5:6 says, When Jesus saw the sick man, He knew he had been ill for a long time.  He asked him, “Would you like to get well?”

John 5:7 reads, “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” (John 5:4 explains that when an angel stirred the waters, only the first one to enter would be healed). 

Can you imagine lying on the side of the pool, waiting and waiting.  When the time comes to get in, you struggle to get on your hands and knees to crawl into the pool.  You're almost there, when someone walking steps in before you.  Disappointed.  Rejected again.  No hope.  You return to waiting.  

Jesus told the sick man, "Get up.  Pick up your pallet and walk."  Verses 9-10 say, "Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, 10 so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!” (The Jews had many unwritten rules regarding work on the Sabbath.  One of the rules considered carrying your  mat as work, which would break the law of the Sabbath).

Can you imagine, finally healed after thirty-eight years of sickness?  You stand amazed.  Yet more astonishing, people around you are not rejoicing, but pointing a finger at you that you broke a rule!
John 5:11-18 says, "But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.'"12 “Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded.  13 The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. 14 But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” 15 Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him.  16 So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules. 17 But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” 18 So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill him. For he not only broke the Sabbath, he called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God."

The sick man's eurekas.  He laid helplessly searching for healing water.  In the mean time, he discovered these "I found it" truths about Jesus:

Eureka# 1.  Jesus:  All Knowing
Look back at the bold in John 5:6.  Jesus knew the man had been sick for thirty-eight years.  How?  Because Jesus is God, He is all-knowing.

Eureka # 2.  Jesus:  All Powerful
Jesus healed the man without him using "miracle water".  He healed him with His power, demonstrating His power over sickness.  As God, Jesus is All Powerful!

Eureka # 3. Jesus:  All Loving
This may have been his most life-changing discovery about Jesus.  The man did nothing to deserve Jesus' healing.  His healing had been denied every time he missed the stirred waters, as if he would deserve healing if he was the fastest.  Yet Jesus healed him just the way he was, fast or slow, demonstrating His great love for him. 

Jesus didn't care about the day of his healing, Sabbath.  Look at the bold in John 5:17 that says Jesus is always working to change lives.  Jesus didn't care that this healing on the Sabbath and his words calling himself God (John 5:18), would cause the Jewish leaders to try harder to find a way to kill him.

Jesus expressed his love to heal the man's physical body.  More importantly, he warned the man about sin effecting his spiritual, eternal body (John 5:14).

In John 5:24 Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life."

Have you discovered the all knowing, all powerful, all loving Jesus?  f so, are you rejoicing when Jesus changes a life, or pointing a finger like Jewish leaders?  If you know Jesus, are you leaving people waiting for water to stir, or leading them to the spiritual healing source, Jesus?

Linked to:

Bible Love Notes


  1. Stacy, you are so good at pulling practical Biblical application out of everyday life! Glad you all enjoyed your trip. We enjoyed your little J...she's a hoot!

    1. Thank you, Jennifer. And thanks for taking care of J. She had a blast! I heard the camp pastor was awesome, too.

  2. Stacy, This is great. You wove an interesting trip into a Bible story with such ease. And I never thought about the association between healing springs and the man by the pool. Here in Budapest, natural hot mineral lakes and springs are prescribed by physicians for healing of all sorts of things. Thanks for sharing this on B&BB. I'm praying you have a blessed week. Gail

    1. Thank you, Gail. I've never been to Budapest. It's great you could use the same bridge to connect healing water in Budapest to the spiritual healer, giver of living water, Jesus. God Bless!


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