True Story – Sick for 38 years, laying by a pool every single day, waiting for healing and he is asked the question, “Do you want to be well?” (see John 5:1-9) Duh! The answer seems obvious to me and the question slightly insulting. Of course, the poor man wants to be well! He’s laying by the pool again, waiting to be well.
Next, Jesus says to this man, get up, take up your mat and start walking. What?! If he could’ve done that, why would he have spent the last 38 years laying by the pool? Cause, it wasn’t to get a sun tan! However, as I ponder this story, I am struck, like right upside the head struck, with how much I have in common with this man and with the fact that I feel God Himself has asked me this same question.
Now, the majority of those who are reading this are probably not a paralytic, but the question may very likely still apply.
- Are you stuck?
- Sick and tired of being sick and tired?
- Do you need a circumstance to change?
- Do you need to change?
I think we probably have anywhere from one to many things in mind as we ask ourselves these questions. I know for myself, for years (told you I could identify with this man), I would long for change, I would cry for it, I would pray for it, I would scream about it, I would devise plans. The problem is, I wanted change my way and I can tell you that my way involved as little pain and effort on my part as possible!
- How about this thought? Could it be possible that I became so comfortable in my circumstances that although I said with my mouth I wanted change, the change itself scared me to near death?
- Or what about this? I wanted life to change if it was convenient but not if it was gonna be uncomfortable or hard. No effort required on my part, God. And, I waited for Him to get on board with my plan.
- Maybe, the parts of my life I hated the most had become so closely attached to me that my very identity was wrapped up in everything I despised about myself and my life?
WOW!! The question doesn’t seem so strange now. A matter of fact it seems pretty right on! You see, Jesus Himself was getting to the heart of the matter, something He specializes in, time and time again. I see Him, getting down to the nitty-gritty,
You say you want to be well, but being well, is according to my plan and my ways not yours. So, I’m checking in with you here…do you REALLY want to be well? Cause, guess what? It just may require your active participation.
In the case of this paralytic man, it required a physical action, he was required to GET UP, PICK UP & WALK. I can tell you that the changes in my life over the past year, have required my action. That doesn’t mean I have accomplished these things on my own, but it does mean that my ways and my plans had to be released and I had to say, “O.K. God, I’m willing to do things your way. What’s the plan?”
He has required and continues to require that I be an active participant in my healing. He has and continues to require that I take steps that challenge my understanding and are beyond my own capabilities.
Are you going to continue to lie on your mat waiting or do you REALLY want to be well? The answer may not come in the way you want or in the time you would choose, but I can tell you from experience that walking while your waiting is a much better life than lying around waiting for impending doom.
It’s true, lying out by the pool day after day, year after year, may be safe and certainly predictable, status quo usually is. But, if you really, I mean REALLY want to be well, status quo won’t do. Your comfort and safety will have to be discarded and exchanged for the infinite possibilities that faith in action holds for someone who really wants to be well. Scary, Yes! Hard, Yes! Worth It, YES!!!
“There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela