"In these [porches] lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting..." (John 5:3).
The world is a hospital, the whole earth is an asylum. Understand, that the man who is, popularly speaking, in the robustest health today may be smitten before the setting of the sun with a fatal disease. In the midst of life we are in death; our breath at best is in our nostrils. Man respires and cannot get his breath again, and he is gone--we call him dead. Life is a perpetual crisis. We are always walking on the cobweb string; it is snapped at any moment. "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." Blessed is that servant who shall be found when his Lord cometh, waiting and watching and working. Great God, we are all waiting, doing nothing! There they were waiting, groaning, sighing. That was a prayer meeting, if you please. A sigh was a prayer, a groan was an entreaty, a cry of distress was a supplication. All the people in the porches were waiting. Are we not all doing the same thing?
The thing we want most seems not to have come yet--it never does come. We shall have it tomorrow, and in the inspiration of this hope we are comparatively strong and joyful today. "Man never is, but always to be blessed." We are waiting for help, waiting till we get a little round, waiting till the ship comes in, waiting for sympathy, waiting for a friend without whose presence there seems to be nobody on the face of the earth, waiting: The method which means patience, hope, content, assurance that God will in his own due course and time redeem his promises and make the heart strong; the other method of waiting is a method of fretfulness, and vexation, and impatience, and distrust, and complaining,--and that kind of thing wears the soul out.