Sunday, August 30, 2009

Get Well?

Remember the story in Scripture when Jesus healed a man who had been waiting at the pool of Bethsaida for 38 years? He was waiting for the water to stir and all he had to do was beat everyone else into the pool. Then he'd be healed.

Jesus asks him what appears to be kind of a stupid question. He asked, "Do you want to get well?" From our vantage point the answer has to be 'yes, of course'. But I'm not sure it was all that easy.

Do you want to get well?

Here's why I don't think it's an easy answer. This guy has 38 years of monotony, of lack of meaning, of no work, no travel, no intimacy. 38 years of no options. 38 years of never having to live into what author Mark Buchanan calls the ‘weight of others expectations’. And Jesus asks him to change all that. At first glance, it looks like a good deal. Another look says it's not so good. Why? Because saying 'yes' means everything changes. Everything. It's a leap into the unknown. Life changes forever.

I wonder if all that ran through that man’s head before he said ‘yes’. How much of him wanted to cling to what he knew best even though if was far from an ideal life? I wonder.

Do you want to get well? Do you want to be freed from whatever holds you back? Do you want God to heal you of what's tearing you up? Here's my take. I find people fit into four categories.

Category 1. People who don't want to get well. They're satisfied with being unwell because it's what they know.

Category 2. People who don't want any part of God's healing. They don't think their life is out of synch. They compare themselves to the dysfunction of others rather than God's best. Compared to everyone else they're OK. They don't want what God offers.

Category 3. People who know they need God's healing. They want to say 'yes' but that means things will change. So they say 'no' and continue to say 'yes' to what's not giving them life transformation.

Category 4. People who say 'my life's got to change'. They want to get well and they know that trusting God and walking in obedience might not necessarily be easy but it's the road that leads to healing. They say 'yes'.

So, do you want to get well?

Lots of people say 'no'. Others wait for a more opportune time. Others say 'yes' but hope that nothing will really change. And others say 'yes' knowing that things have got to change.


Sally said...

so,there are a couple places in my life where I've been sitting in "category3" for a looooong time. Wonder how you find the want to move to "category4"? Not something you can manufacture.... I've tried....

thanks for your blog...

Mike said...

I think it's a desire nutured by prayer. Telling a few others about the stuckness helps too. They can add their prayers to yours.

No easy answers. You see it. That's the starting poing.



Mike said...

I think I meant to say point, not poing.