Friday, April 5, 2013

do you or don't you? the question of wanting to be healed.

Relevant Magazine posted an article nearly a year ago by Jordan Davis called, “Do you want to be healed?”  It looked at the story from John 5 where Jesus encounters a man who was lame, lying at the Pool of Bethesda.  As the pool begins to stir, Jesus goes to the man and asks him, “do you want to get well?”

I’ve been thinking about that article a lot lately.  It seems pretty straight forward, right?  As the article asks, who among us who has been sick, doesn’t want to get well?  It seems like a silly question.  Then you begin to think about it…there’s a reason why it was asked.

I saw Beth Moore a couple of weeks ago at the Living Proof Conference in Phoenix.  It was a wonderful experience.  She shared a powerful message with us about being marked.  We are marked by Christ.  We are also marked by our wounds.  One of the talks she gave really focused on our desire to hang on to the wounds.

There are people who have ongoing wounds that won’t heal.  Some people have ports that need to stay open.  Others have wounds that never completely mend.  Those wounds have to be tended to.  Cleaned, freed from infection, and given attention.

This can be us.  We like the attention our wounds take.  We desire the attention that our broken places get us.  We don’t know what life would be like without our wounds.  So here we are; addicted to what's hurting us most.  Tending the same wounds over and over again and never allowing them to breathe and heal, so that we can move elsewhere with our focus.

For the past few years, Easter has been a powerful time of freedom for me.  It’s a time where I reflect with God about how free I actually am.  The Lenten journey is about revealing the places where I’ve enslaved myself and Easter is all about bringing them to the surface and claiming freedom.  With vulnerability, I admit that there were so many areas of unhealthiness that came to mind this year, that I didn’t even allow myself to continue the list.

That’s what happens when we let a sore fester.  Brokenness takes charge and creates problems we never had in the first place.  For me, my addiction to working has hurt my exercise habits, my eating, my social life, my spiritual life, my emotional health, and has broken my attitude toward many things.

We complain about the wounds, the shortcomings or disappointments in our lives, the extra stress, the bad habits, the lack of fulfillment in our relationship with the Lord, the lack of community, the financial struggles, and the goals left unmet.  And yet…the question still lingers.

Is the answer still so obvious?  Do you want to be healed?

If so, how badly?  Badly enough to be totally uncomfortable and in an unfamiliar place?  Badly enough to work hard?  Or stop working?  Or be terribly disciplined?

Badly enough to ask for help and admit you can’t do it alone?  Badly enough to seek counseling or medical care?  Badly enough to confess fault or forgive someone elses or both?

Badly enough to stop eating things you shouldn’t?  Or watching things you shouldn’t?  Or being with people you shouldn’t?

Badly enough to take a risk?  Badly enough to know that failure might be an option, but willing to try anyway?

Do you want to be healed badly enough to be exposed?  Or to swallow your pride and admit that things weren’t working before?

Badly enough to talk to a stranger in hopes of making a new friend?  Badly enough to look past insecurity?  Badly enough to say “no more” to fear and walk boldly?

Do you want to be healed badly enough that you’re willing to give up your right to hold that grudge?  To still be angry?  To still complain?

The man’s response to Jesus was “but Sir, I don’t have anyone to help me get into the pool.”

Yep.  I have often told Jesus how difficult it would be to be healed.  It’s too hard.  It’s not worth it.  I can’t, Jesus.  Telling everyone how much I'd like to get up and walk...but boy, it's just never been the right time.

I love the Lord’s response: “Take up your mat and walk.”

Here it is.  This is how you’re going to see healing.  Will you trust Me and do what will heal you??

It will take work.  It may be difficult.  It will take faith.  Will you step into the healing available for you?

Will you be proactive?  Will you make new and better choices?  Will you get help?

There are some powerful women that I know with amazing gifts of prayer.  They prayed over me a couple weeks ago and among them there was a resounding consensus about my welfare.  “You are overburdened.”  I guess I’d known it, but having it spoken by others hit me.  One of the women looked me in the eye and said, “you don’t have to carry this by yourself…what you need to do is rest in the loving arms of Jesus.”

My wound of overworking was being exposed.  She was right.  I raced into the Word that week.  I needed to be still in rest in my Daddy’s arms.

One step at a time, healing can be found.  You may never see yourself as completely healed in this side of eternity, but always more free than before.  I pray for your freedom and healing.  For God does His best work through us, when we lie free and open for Him to use.

There are always resources for getting healed in many and various ways.  If you don’t know where to start, ask a friend, a teacher, a pastor or church minister, a counselor.  They’ll help you make a plan.

Jesus offers healing.  We see it in the cross and the empty tomb.  He is life.  He desires life for you in the biggest, fullest, least inhibited way.  He showed that He’s all about giving you life when He gave you His.  There is no wound too big for His power.

I have goals for my life.  Goals to achieve, accomplish, and to engage.  But first, before any of that is worth doing or maybe even possible to attain, I have to seek health.  I truly believe that some of the struggles from my last couple of years have been so that I would find the deep healing at this place in my story.

And so I have to ask myself and you have to ask yourself…today and everyday going forward…are you ready?  Do you want to be healed?

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