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  • Annelise Jagitsch

Parting the Pond

Updated: Feb 19

By Annelise Jagitsch


“And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.”

Luke 17:6


I was confused as I walked down the driveway. Ahead of me, my younger brother and his friend were standing on the banks of the pond. They looked serious, but I couldn’t figure out what they were doing. There was a blow-up beach ball in the water a little way out, and they were both staring at it intently. As I approached, my brother turned around and looked up at me. “What are you guys doing?” I asked curiously. “We are parting the pond.” He answered confidently. It was all I could do not to burst out laughing. They were “parting the pond”? I asked, “Why are you trying to part the pond?” He looked at me for a second and then answered just as confidently as before. “We lost our ball, and God says if you have faith like a mustard seed you can do anything. So, we are parting the water in the pond to get our ball. Moses parted water in the Bible. So we are parting the pond.” Unfortunately, they could not part the pond, and my older brother eventually went out in the pond in a canoe to get their ball for them. But as I walked away, I couldn’t help but be impressed. What amazing faith these two kids possessed. I didn’t have that much faith. 


As I remember this story, it reminds me of another story in the Bible. There was no parting of water in the Bible story, but there was water. I don’t know what this man’s actual name was, so I’m going to call him Eli. Eli had been paralyzed for 38 years. He lay near the edge of the pool of Bethesda every day in hopes that when the water would stir, he could get in and be healed. But someone always got there first. After so many years of waiting and trying, he was getting discouraged. What was the point? He would never be able to get in that water and be healed, so why did he even keep trying? He wasn’t sure. Yet, every day, he was back in place. One day, as he lay next to the water, it began to stir again. He rolled over and attempted to get in the water, but someone was already in the pool. A frustrated sigh escaped his lips, and he let his head rest on the ground. As he stared at the sky, a tear ran down his cheek. Suddenly, a shadow covered the blue sky above him, and he was looking up into the kindest face he had ever seen. “Do you want to be healed?” Even the man's voice was filled with kindness and compassion. Eli wondered why on earth someone would even ask that. Of course he wanted to be healed. “I don’t have anyone to put me in the water,” Eli answered after a second. The man gave off a vibe of complete understanding and empathy. Eli had never met anyone like this before. “Then take up your mat and walk.” What? Eli was confused. Did this guy tell him to stand up? Him? The paralyzed guy that lay around on the ground all day hoping to fall in a pool. But something about this man made Eli decide to try. He believed that he would walk. He didn’t know why. As Eli stood, the man smiled. Incredible! He hadn’t stretched his legs in 38 years, and now he was standing! 


When I think of this story, it strikes me differently than other stories of faith in the Bible. Most of the time, the people asking Jesus to heal them knew who He was and had heard stories of how He healed others. But this guy didn’t even know who Jesus was. Yet he had the faith to stand and walk when Jesus told him to. That's amazing! He had faith like a mustard seed. He had hope, and it grew into faith. Jesus was able to bless him because of his faith. 


Even though my brother and his friend weren't able to part the pond, they showed faith like that man. They had never seen anyone part water like that. Yes, they had heard the Bible stories, but they had never seen anything like that happen in front of them. Yet they were willing to try. So, even though they didn’t end up with the results they wanted, they had enough faith to try. 


If only we would have faith like that in Jesus. If only we would trust him. If only we would be willing to try what He says, even when it doesn’t make sense or we have never seen anyone do it before. Maybe, if we would trust him and try, we would be blessed just like Eli, my brother, and his friend. In the end, the two of them decided they didn’t have enough faith and needed to ask God for more. That's pretty awesome as they were 8 years old. Children possess such amazing faith. I want to be like that. I want to trust Jesus like Eli and my brother. I may not be trying to part the waters of the pond in front of my house, but I want to follow God in my life and do what He says, even if the rest of the world is going in a different direction. Even if I have no idea why He would ask me to stand up and walk, I want to do it anyway because I have faith that He knows what's best for me. I want faith to part ponds and stand up and walk after being paralyzed for 38 years. I want the faith to try.


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