“One man was there who had been sick for 38 years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew he had already been there a long time, He said to him, ‘Do you want to get well?’ ‘Sir,’ the man answered, ‘I don’t have a man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I’m coming, someone goes down ahead of me.’ ‘Get up,’ Jesus told him, ‘pick up your mat and walk!’ Instantly the man got well, picked up his mat, and started to walk….”
Have you ever considered why Jesus asked the man who needed healing if he wanted to get well?
Obviously the man was sick. Obviously he needed what only Jesus could provide. So why did Jesus ask if he wanted to get well?
When Jesus asked this question, the man responded with the reasons he couldn’t get well. He needed someone to get him to the water. People jumped ahead of him while he made his way. Maybe the man just gave up his will and saw only hindrances.
Maybe the man lacked gusto, grit, determination. But maybe not. I really don’t know. I’m only pondering possibilities. What I do know is that 38 years is a long time to be sick! After that long, I imagine my grit would have vanished.
Jesus didn’t simply heal the man before he asked if that is what the man wanted.
I wonder if at times we become so comfortable in our “illness” that it becomes a source of safety for us. It’s what we know. We let it define us and become a part of who we are.
When I say illness, I mean drastic variances of “illness”. Could be physical. Or it could be an illness of the soul. It could be an addiction. It could be emotional. An area of sin. It could take so many forms.
That might sound ridiculous, but I think if you consider it long enough your eyebrows may raise a touch.
I’m also not saying that if you haven’t received healing, it means you don’t want it or that you lack faith. I don’t believe that for one second. God has impeccable timing we can’t understand. He is glorified in us through sickness and in health. And also in death. Sometimes our healing is delayed while we are used in the healing of others. So please don’t misunderstand my point.
There are some things that hinder me in life that are an illness of the soul. They hold me back from full on faith trusting in Jesus. I cling to what is known, even if it’s not what is good for me. Sometimes that feels safer than Jesus.
We can accept so little at times. We are so finite. We settle for what we know rather than reach for what seems impossible. Often we fear the fall of the reach.
Oh why do we do this?
What if we reach and fall? Will He not be there to pick us up? To brush away the debris, to hug away the sting, to hold us tenderly while we mend? Do we not trust that if we fall, He is still there?
But what if we don’t fall in the reach? What if we grab hold of something far beyond what we’ve ever considered? Wouldn’t the enemy do whatever it takes to keep us stuck?
In Illuminate I used this quote:
‘“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…
“Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
C.S Lewis, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
I love this quote. He’s not safe, but He’s good. He’s the King. We must trust Him.
The verse in John speaks to our need to know ourselves. Honestly, know ourselves. As it pertains to our “healings”, do we honestly want to be healed? If so maybe it’s time to pick up our mat and walk. Maybe it’s time to believe God can do the impossible. Maybe it’s time we not only ask Him, but we ask Him to change our hearts to desire the healing. Whatever that healing may look like.
Maybe we’ve never considered that we’ve become comfortable in our afflictions (whatever form they take in our life).
We all need some form of healing. Until eternity, we aren’t complete. We are an unfinished work. Praise God for that!
I’m convinced we can all relate to this man lying on his mat for 38 years. I know I can. How many “illnesses” have I accepted and stayed in. Have I accepted the illness of bitterness because I’m waiting on the other person to do what’s right first? I need to pick up my mat. Have I accepted the illnesses of slave to my cravings? Maybe I need to pick up my mat.
There are many healings we may need, but first we need to look at our hearts and see if the desire is there first? And if it’s not, that’s where we start. We ask Him to change our hearts to desire the healing we need most. Then we pick up our mats and walk it out.
All in His perfect timing.
Those first steps may be terrifying. Our legs may shake and tremble. Remember we are using muscles we haven’t used in awhile. It’s ok. He will strengthen us one step at a time.
Maybe we change what we see as safe? Maybe we shift from safe to good? Aslan wasn’t safe, but He was good. Our King is good. May we not cling to the smallness of what we know and see and instead lift our eyes above and desire His abundance poured over us.
Lord, we confess we are people of little faith. We trust in the things seen rather than what is unseen. Lord, you are King of Kings, Lord of Lords. You are good. You are our healer. May we trust You. If our hearts find safety in our illnesses and sicknesses, may we lay them at the foot of the cross today. We open our hands to You and surrender it all. We ask for healing. Lead us by Your good Spirit. We love you.
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If you’ve followed me for awhile, you know that my heart is to follow God wherever He leads, no matter where that is. Sometimes it makes no sense to me until I take the first step. That’s what has been happening to me. I’ve shared a little here, but a ton on Instagram. God has given me a new assignment. While I’m still writing, He led me to start a 2nd home based business. Right after opening my online shop. The timing is hilarious.
I didn’t understand at first, but now I do. My heart cares so deeply for people and helping them get unstuck. The enemy loves to hold us in the quicksand. God has been showing me how much of our physical health is linked to our spiritual health. And my desire is to help people get unstuck physically in order that their spiritual lives can flourish.
If you want information about what I’m sharing, send me an email. Or follow along on Instagram where I share several times a day.
Thank you for trusting me. I don’t take that lightly and count it an honor and pray I would lead well.