Are you happy with your life as it is? Do you look at others and wonder how they have such luck or ability to have what looks like a better life than you? I have lots of times.
Jesus asked an unusual question to a man who had been paralyzed for years, perhaps his whole adult life. He asked him if he wanted to get well. That seems so obvious. Who wouldn’t want to get well? The paralytic was doing what he knew to do. According to local superstition, when the waters of a pool moved, it was believed that the angels stirred the water, and if someone who needed healing could be the first into the pool, they would be healed. Being paralyzed made it very hard for this man to make it into the pool first. Why would Jesus ask him if he wanted to be healed? The whole story is in John 5.
I am finding out that some people don’t want to be healed. It would be life changing for them. It would mean new ways of relating to others, a new self-image, being more involved in life, taking responsibility for our survival. Taking responsibility for our own decisions and their consequence is a big deal, especially if we have blamed everyone and anyone for our outcome. It is a big deal. In the story, Jesus heals him completely right after the man tells him his situation and his problem getting into the water.
His problem seemed real to me, and apparently, he didn’t have the right friends that the paralytic whose friends carried him on a mat and lowered him into the presence of Jesus by cutting a hole in the roof of the building Jesus was speaking to those who needed healing. Now that’s some good friends!
Have you ever known someone or are you someone who is not happy with their life, but is not willing to make any changes necessary to improve their experience?
I have been reading in Deuteronomy, and God told the Israelites through Moses that sometimes God removes things “little by little” and for good reasons. We too often think Jesus will work as he did in the New Testament, and we will instantly have what we prayed. It’s not always the case and for very good reasons.
Do You Want to Be Well
Many of us are carrying “baggage” from our childhood. The load is heavy, but it has served us well. People have felt sorry for us as we told our stories, and we got attention. Attention can feel like validation. Validation always feels good. So if we give up feeling overwhelmed by our burdens or baggage, we may give up feeling validated by our listeners or family. If we give up feeling validated as we experienced in the past—then what?
We must learn new patterns of behavior that are not toxic. A simple solution, but not so simple to do. The prayer of the heart is the most sincere. It is a constant prayer. Paul said we should pray continually. A heart desire is important, and we don’t know the steps to heal an emotionally scarred or hurting heart. God is concerned about the things we are concerned about (Psalm 138:8), especially when it involves our wholeness as a person. God created us to live whole and healed. His ultimate desire is that we would never be hurt or feel broken, but sin entered the world and “stuff happens.”
The best psychologist’s couch is the Holy Spirit. He knows us completely, and He knows where to start with the healing. The best way to heal is to pray about it from your heart. Don’t be afraid to lay all your concerns before God as honestly, tearfully, or even angrily. He can handle it. Stay open. Pray often or continually. Don’t worry about your position in prayer or where you are. Walking down the street, driving your car, doing chores at home or on your work break, keep presenting your concerns to God. Remember who He is. He will start healing your inner hurts, betrayals, disappointments “little by little” as you can handle it and make the changes. Making changes can be scary and uncertain. Take those concerns to God as well. No one loves you more than God or knows you and what you can handle as much as He does.
Stay open to Him. Ask Him what changes you need to make. Tell Him whether you think you can make the changes or not. Ask Him to help. God is totally on your side and desires your healing. He is not a fairy tale, and He is not a harsh master. He cares for you!