Late last year, this scripture came to mind. I knew it was the Holy Spirit, dropping it on my conscience because I was unfamiliar with the verse.
There was a certain man there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus noticed him lying there [helpless], knowing that he had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to get well?” The invalid answered, “Sir, I have no one to put me in the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am coming [to get into it myself], someone else steps down ahead of me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up; pick up your pallet and walk.” Immediately the man was healed and recovered his strength, and picked up his pallet and walked. John 5:5-9 AMP
A few verses before this, you would read that all the sick people ( v. 3 the blind, the lame and the withered) gathered around this pool, Bethseda, in hopes that they would be healed of their infirmities when the Angel of the Lord stirred the waters. The catch---only the first person to make it into the pool would be healed. So it isn't surprising that after 38 years, this man was still waiting on the sidelines.
The passage doesn't tell us why this man caught the Lord's attention. Sis, there were other sick people by the pool.
I wonder if he was hollering out "help me" and the people surrounding him ignored his cries. I wonder if he was just staring into the clouds, dreaming about what it would be like to dip the tip of his pinky toe into the waters. Maybe, he was cursing his very life because of the desperate place he found himself in. Regardless, Jesus passed by to offer healing.
What struck me about this encounter, is that Jesus asked him "Do you want to get well?" And I think this is why he guided me to this verse.
I was having a "woe is Sherri" moment, rehashing all the things that had gone wrong in my life, the strongholds, the insecurities, the pain---but He stopped me in my tracks and asked me, "do you want to get well?"
I had a choice to make-- was I going to sit by the pool waiting or was I going to give a voice to my desire to be healed AND THEN participate in the process?
If you find yourself talking more about your issues or constantly analyzing and revisiting all your pain points (which I am not, in any way, dismissing), it's time to ask yourself these 3 questions (the same questions I asked myself)--
1. Do you WANT it?
Sometimes we become so comfortable in our pain that we don't want to break up with it. And sis, I'm not talking about health issues. This is about the pain that is birthed through our own sin or offenses that happen to us. We embrace the victim mentality; we latch on to the attention we get from being "the hurt one" or we don't think we deserve to be healed because we played an active role in the development of our "sickness." We have to WANT healing and we have to WANT the only person who can do it!
2. Are you TIRED of making excuses?
We can point fingers, we can blame our daddies who were never there, the boyfriend who broke our hearts, or the opportunity that passed us by. However, excuses become strongholds that keep us bound to our pain.
3. Am I going to put in the WORK?
Jesus didn't roll up the mat for this man. He didn't call the disciples over to give this man a lift. He gave instruction and the man had to decide if he was going to obey IN FAITH. Once he made the decision, he had to use some energy. He had to put some weight on his legs that were inoperable for 38 years! He bent over and picked up his own mat! He wasn't a hopeless bystander to this process BUT he stood on the strength of God’s word and was restored.
Our healing requires us to be active participants.
Sis, you ready to pick up your mat?
- Start with this prayer--
I've been sitting by the side of the pool waiting for my healing to come. It's been months, years, decades but I want to be healed, I am ready to be healed. I am standing on your word that the pain of [insert here, make it personal, be specific] will no longer cripple me. Speak to my heart your instructions, give me the strength to walk in obedience, and I praise you now for the healing I will experience. Thank you for being my healer.
In Jesus' name. Amen.
- Listen for your instructions
-He might instruct you to begin biblical counseling
-He might tell you to call the person who hurt you
-He might tell you to let some people go
Whatever your instructions are, go back to God, in prayer, and ask Him to bring the right people into your life to support you along the way.
- Get to work
We pray, we listen for the Lord's instructions, and then we actually do the work! This won't be an overnight process-- Be patient with yourself AND lean into God's strength.
Sis, I am just at the beginning of my healing process and I have a longgggg way to go BUT it started with me telling God that I wanted to be healed. Take the first step and let God adjust your crown.