do you want to be healed?

A few years ago,

I was reading John 5:2-9

and I had an “ah-ha!” moment.

 

I love moments like this when I am reading Scripture.  Words on the page jump out at me, coming alive as if I am reading them for the very first time.  I had read this account of the healing of the invalid at the pool called Bethesda many times.

This time, however, was different.

I was identifying myself – my sinful nature – in this man.  I knew it was the Holy Spirit convicting me, showing me areas in my life where growth was needed.

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades.  In these lay a multitude of invalids – blind, lame, and paralyzed.  One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?”  The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.”  Jesus said to him, ” Get up, take up your bed, and walk.”  And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. (John 5:2-9, ESV)

By the pool “lay a multitude of invalids – blind, lame, and paralyzed”(v. 3).  I am an invalid, maybe not physically, but an invalid in spirit.

“One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years” (v.5)  I will be 38 this summer.  The first 28 were mostly spent in spiritual bliss believing I had my faith all figured out.  It is only in these last 10 years that I have realized how naive I have been and that in fact I have been a “spiritual invalid” all along.  My affliction was self-pity.  I had allowed the hurts of the past to define me and had used my state of grief to justify my treatment of myself and others.

Do you notice the word, “knew” in verse 6?  I just learned that this word translated into the Hebrew is yada’ – defined by Kyle Idleman in his book “Not a Fan” as to know completely and to be completely known.  In the Old Testament, this word, to know, is used when referring to a man knowing his wife, as in intimacy.  You get the message.

So Jesus knew this man – really knew him…his thoughts, his perceptions, his fears, his “hold-ups”, his past, his future, his present.  At first, I found Jesus’ question, “Do you want to be healed?” (v.6) as odd.  I wanted to answer back, “Uh duh!  Of course he wants to be healed.  That’s why the man has been at the pool for 38 years!”  (This pool is one thousands of people flocked to believing it had the power to heal.)

But, like I said above, this

was an ah-ha! moment.

I went to the Scriptures

seeking insight and

knowledge,

and He wanted to grow in

intimacy with me

by showing me more of

Himself.

The man answers Jesus’ question, “Do you want to be healed?”, with two statements.  1. He states that there is no one to put him into the pool at the time the water is stirred up (it was believed that this was when the healing took place).  2. He also states that he tries to go, but another person steps ahead of him.

Okay, so this is where the ah-

ha!! moment really takes

shape.

Those two statements jump out to me as excuses.  The man had been sitting at the pool for 38 years!!  Can he really honestly say that in all that time no one had offered to help him into the pool, and that every single time he had tried to get to the pool someone stepped in front of him?  How many times had he tried?  How many people had he asked for help?  There had to have been one merciful person in that time that wanted to help him?  He could have died sitting on those steps waiting.

Then as quickly as these

questions came to my mind,

the mirror flipped, and I saw

myself looking back at me.

Oh my gosh!!  I had been hearing the Lord ask me over and over again, “Do you want to be healed?  Healed from the grief, self-pity, the anger, the fear?”.  Do you know how I responded over and over again?  Are you familiar with the saying, “Talk to the hand.”?

 

That was me, palm out, head turned away, teeth clenched, telling Christ – “Talk to the hand!!!  I can’t change what has happened to me, I can’t change the pain I feel, I can’t change how angry I am, I can’t change anything about it.  I didn’t choose this!  I am going to hold this anger and self-pity because {I didn’t know it at the time} I am too afraid to let it go, it will hurt too much.”

“What happens to me if I let it

go?  Who will I be then?”

The invalid was expecting Jesus to join him in his pity party.  He just wanted someone to sit and listen.  Can’t you hear the pleading in the man’s voice?  I can hear it.   I had the same pleading in my voice.  It went something like this.

“Don’t you get it, God? I am

hurting! I am sad! I am

grieving!

It’s okay for me to act this

way,

to not Love those in my life

the way I am supposed to.

They just need to accept that

this is who I am, and I am

grieving.”

“I have an excuse for my

hurtful behavior.  It is okay.”

Take a look at verse 8.  Jesus says to the man, “Get up, take your bed, and walk”.  I can imagine Jesus standing over him and commanding him to get up and walk.  No pity party there!  Instead, Jesus ignores the man’s invitation as if communicating to him that He is not interested in the man’s excuses.

It is up to you to act!

Do something!

Get up and walk!

Live!

 

 

I am sure no one had spoken to the man in this way.  Jesus loved him so deeply he was willing to risk the man refusing His extension of Love.

These are the words I heard Jesus speak to me through my prayer, meditation, and journaling on these verses.

“Jana, stop letting your grief,

self-pity, sadness, anger, and

fear define you!

You have the power within

you to get up and walk!

To live abundantly!

You just have to make the

choice to do it!”

 

Choice – Oh…I do have a choice.

Ah-Ha!!  I finally got it.

I can choose how I will let all that has happened in my life define me.

And notice in the final verse (9), “at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked”.  At once – the man made a choice.  He was done.  38 years is a long time to sit waiting, feeling sorry for yourself.  Do you think he lived abundantly after his encounter with Jesus?  I do!

I finally chose to receive the healing Jesus was extending to me. You know how I finally decided – I recognized how tired I was.  Tired!!!  Holding the self-pity, grief, sadness, anger, and fear – oh my gosh!  I was so tired of pretending everything in my life was okay!  The facade of “perfection” wore me out, brought me to my knees.  I was so ready to give it up and be honest, transparent, authentic for God, for myself and for those I love.

Am I Living Abundantly?

Yes, I can’t help it!

I feel drunk on pure joy most of the time.  It sounds crazy I know, but it is the truth.  I can’t explain it with words, only to say that the Lord healed my broken heart.  He helped me choose life over death.

It was ultimately my choice to receive His healing touch.  And daily, I will myself to make the choice to live as one covered by His Grace and His Mercy.

He extended His Love to me.  I had to choose to Accept Him.

newly purposed,

jana

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “do you want to be healed?

  1. Thank you for your blog. What an inspiration! I too am so tired of being “impacted” by my past. I can’t change it but I can live boldly and joyfully NOW. The Lord makes everything NEW. Thank you for your words!

    • Hi Viviana,

      I am so glad you were blessed. All glory is His! I could not tell my story without His healing grace and mercy. I encourage you to live boldly for Christ. He is amazing and just waiting for us to claim the truths we can only find in His word.
      Blessings,

      jana

  2. Jana! I feel like we are already friends! :)
    Thank you so much for being transparent and sharing your joy. I couldn’t help feeling uplifted just reading – he has already given us all the riches in his Heavenly storehouses, it’s just up to us to claim them!
    Keep it up, I can’t wait to read more :)
    ~Molly

    • Hi Molly,
      Thanks! So fun to connect in this way. I love your comment – yes! We have to claim them! Great description. I am slow to learn, but He creates LIFE into me when I finally get it. He is so patient with me. I am deeply grateful for that!

      God Bless, jana

  3. Jana…how beautiful! God has used you to remind me of some things this morning! He DOES want to heal us: spiritually, emotionally, and physically – just as any parent would help their child! YOU (and I) are children of the King – the Great Physician and the Almighty Counselor. We should live like it!

    • Hi sweet Ellen,

      I am so glad the post spoke to you. It was a labor of love for me to write. Such a hard lesson for me to learn. God is so good and patient with me and I stumbled many times along the way toward healing. May you trust him as He leads you along your life’s journey.

      Love, jana

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