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Monday, October 13, 2008

“Do you want to get well?”

“Do you want to get well?”

There’s this interesting story in John 5. Jesus is walking past the pool of Bethesda on his way into Jerusalem. It’s a pool recognized for its healing power. Anyone who would dip themselves in the pool immediately after it had been stirred by God’s hand would find healing. There lies a man who had been paralyzed for 38 years. Can you imagine? Thirty-eight years of lying in the dust. No real hope; no real plan for getting better. You can almost feel the desperation as it pours from his flesh. His life has as much room for bitterness and regret as anyone. Along comes the Healer. He passes by the man and turns to him. In what had to rank as one of the most perplexing questions in all of Scripture, Jesus asks, “Do you want to get well?”

One would imagine that the man’s heart leapt within him. Years of crushed dreams and fading hopes have now been given a second chance at life. Instead of responding with a thousand “yeses”, the man offers excuses for why he is where he is when the Master finds him. To his credit, though, when Jesus offers a plan for healing, the man responds and the rest is history (or should we say “his story”).

I’ve got a question. Do you really want to be well? You know who you are as I’m typing this (and you’re reading it). Do you really want to know wholeness and strength? Do you want to be released of your burdens and running free of the bondage that has held you to this point? Or, like so many, have you grown comfortable there in the dirt? Is your response to His healing just one more excuse for keeping things just like they are? Maybe you like playing the victim?

Get over it. (I say that in love). The Bible is clear that there is no infirmity, no failure, no addiction, no handicap that God can’t help you through. Sometimes it’s healing He brings. Always, it’s strength to live your life like He intended. You simply have to want to get well. You. Not your friends. Not your pastor. Not your church or your small group or your family. You.

So, quit asking for more prayer if you aren’t willing to get up and walk. Don’t call out for more accountability if you don’t want to receive it. And, by all means, don’t seek a hand up unless the hand you stick out is ready to be healed and whole and used by God for what’s next in your life. So, I ask it again: Do you WANT to be well?

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