Do you want to be healed? Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Why else would healthcare be a multi-billion dollar industry? No one actually likes being sick. Everyone wants to be healed…don’t they?
It occurred to me this week that a seemingly simple question, may be more complex than we first think This question appears in John 5:6 when a man “who had been in this condition” (though the condition is unclear, we know from the context he is disabled) from 38 years. He is lying next to a cleansing pool, and there is no indication for how long he might have been lying there, but when Jesus asks: “Do you want to be made well?” the man doesn’t answer with a simple and evident “Yes!” Instead, he mutters an excuse of all things.
And it made me think, how often I do the same thing. I’m offered the opportunity for healing, enlightenment, encouragement or even just to be made whole…and instead of embracing the opportunity with a wholehearted “YES PLEASE!” I shrink back into myself and mutter, “Well, you see, Jesus, I’d like to receive this blessing but…”
- I don’t have time.
- I’m not ready for that.
- I don’t know where I’d find the money.
- I’m not sure I’m the right person.
- I am too tired.
- I’m scared.
And why do we mutter these excuses? Because despite the fact that we’re broken and stuck—we’re comfortable. The disabled man had grown accustomed to his ailment—he’d lived with it for 38 years. I mean, sure it was inconvenient, but he was comfortable with the inconvenience. People probably helped him live day to day life (how else did he get to the pool? Sure he had no one to help him get all the way into the pool…he says, but it sounds more like a convenient excuse than an actual problem), so he felt secure in knowing this was he lot in life.
In a lot of ways we are just as stuck—we’re right on the brink of where God can bring healing into our lives. Maybe it’s a physical healing, but even more so, an emotional, spiritual healing and instead of taking that final step we stop and find an excuse. All so that we can stay…
But what if we’re not meant to be comfortable? What if life is about more than being comfortable?
The man had come to “get into the pool where the water is stirred.” But that’s not what Jesus has him do. Instead he tells him to “Get up!”
Our lives are meant to be lived in action. “Get up!” It’s a command to live. To experience, to be that which God intended. It may not be comfortable. You may have to do some walking—some moving, some shaking, some stirring. But it will be real, and that’s where the true healing comes from.