What kind of life satisfies, if all you do is wait for the occasional stirring that might bring you out of your pain?
These people gathered together because they all had pain and this was the place to receive healing. They probably spent a lot of time talking to one another about their pain--sympathizing, sharing stories of hurts, sharing dreams of what they could do if only they were healed.
This man waited 38 years. Maybe he got comfortable in that environment thinking, "Even if I never make it to the pool at least I have company here." Jesus asked if he wanted to be healed; quite a deep question when you're used to living a certain way for decades. You become accustomed to your lifestyle of waiting for the stirring. Perhaps he had forgotten that there could be another way to find healing because he was so intent on making it to the stirring.
We should not wait around for the stirring of the spirit to receive healing, wholeness, and relationship when Jesus is standing right here with a willing heart and extended hand.
Sometimes it helps to be in the right environment but with a God who is everywhere at once, why would we wait until that spontaneous stirring? He's extending His hand and asking, "Do you want to be made well? Because I'm willing and able to heal if you only have the heart to receive."
I love that when Jesus finds the man again, it's in the temple. That tells me the man did have a heart to be healed and to be near to God because the lame weren't allowed in the temple. For 38 years he wasn't allowed to step foot in the temple. Perhaps he'd listened to the teachings from outside, collecting scraps of information. He couldn't enjoy worship and prayer with friends. But since the Word came to him and healed him, he was now free. He received physical healing and now he could seek spiritual healing as well. So should our lives be when the Word comes and heals our hearts.