Rise or Remain

The lame man by the pool of Bethesda waiting for his miracle to come is a Bible story most are familiar with. 

Recently while reading it one sentence stood out, a question actually. 

“Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” 

The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”  John 5: 5-7 

“Do you want to be made well?”

This seems such an odd question to ask a man suffering 38 years.

Have you ever wondered why Christ felt the need to ask? I did so to God I went.

As always, when you ask God a question you’ll always get the Truth.

Here is what I learned.

Before God can heal you, you must be willing to give up what’s making you sick and all the reasons why you can’t be healed.  

The man at the pool justified his years of suffering with reasons to remain there.  

He had “no man to put me into the pool.”  He never got a chance because “while I am coming, another steps down before me.” 

All probably true but excuses nonetheless. His sickness had become his story. It was his why.

My sickness became my why as well. It was why I couldn’t be happy, satisfied, forgive or forget. It was why I was broke, overwhelmed and alienated from those I loved most.

My why repelled people and the abundant life Christ came to give.

Like the man by the pool, my story had become my crutch, my justification for remaining sick.

After years of being emotionally crippled, Christ asked me the same question. “Do you want to be healed?”

You’d think I’d have screamed “yes” but I didn’t, at least not immediately.  I wasn’t ready to let go of my illness.

Many others’ aren’t either when asked this question and here’s why. 

Like the man by the pool, our emotional diseases become the crutch we rely on to stay where we are, avoid responsibility, blame others, play the victim, and justify poor choices.

To be set free and restored would take away our excuses and many women would rather cling to their emotional disabilities than be healed. It’s become a security blanket of reasons not to try.

I was one of those women who’d become comfortable with her emotional condition.

Confronting the issues that kept me ill would require honesty, accountability and ownership.

I might have to relive painful memories I had been avoiding for years. Staying sick was easier, less painful.

It garnered pity, acted as a tool of manipulation and required that I only remain where I was and nothing more. Sad I know.

Like the man by the pool, Christ was calling me to “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” John 5:8

I could walk into my future healed or stay where I was.

Rise or Remain. These are our choices. Many women will choose to remain and only a few will choose to rise.

Sometimes it’s an old wound that keeps you ill.

Sometimes it’s even a person but what or whoever is making you sick Christ stands ready and willing to heal you and set you free.

The next chapter of your life is waiting to be written by the Master Author.

Will it be the same as the last chapter or will He be “doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isa 43:19

“Do you want to be made well?”

Sandra Hubbard

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