John 5:1-8 (NIV) Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  [b] 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
If you look at the above passage we see there was a man who had been disabled, blind, lame and paralyzed for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and learned he had been in the condition for a long time, Jesus asks the man, “Do you want to get well?”
Seems like a ridiculous question to me, of course he wants to get healed, right? But the mans response is not yes, instead his response is excuses. The man responds to Jesus by giving excuses and says, “I have no one to help me into the pool, while I am trying to get in someone goes ahead of me.” It’s as if Jesus ignores his excuses and gets right to the heart of the matter. Jesus replies, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
When I read this I think man it sounds harsh, but the truth is we will never experience healing in any area of our lives if we continue to make excuses for why we can’t be healed. When Jesus is asking us if we want to be healed its because He CAN heal us, He has the power to heal us. The question is do we want to be healed? Are we are willing to be healed?
Have you ever experienced excruciating pain before? The kind of pain that is unbearable, it takes your breathe away and you can’t walk or even talk? The pain that renders you helpless and leaves you at the mercy of those around you. The kind of pain that in the moment you think about how you would do “anything” to make it go away.
Can you imagine how it would feel if in the middle of your pain you were asked, “Do you want to be healed?” How would you feel if someone said those words to you?
I have battled with kidney stones for over 9 years. I have had over 18 surgeries and still the Doctor’s are at a loss as to why my body makes stones at such a rapid rate. They have done every test you can imagine and still nothing makes any sense. I have tried medication to no avail. I have taken things out of my diet and I have added other things to my diet and still nothing changes and the stones keep coming. My body makes them so fast that at one point I had surgery and by the time I came back for my post-op appointment my body had already produced another stone.
The pain is so severe sometimes its as if I am literally paralyzed and I can’t move, sometimes I can’t even speak. You may have heard its worse than child birth and I agree. Years ago I may have even said, “Nothing is worse than kidney stone pain.” But today I disagree.
Over the past several months my kidney pain has returned and I am in unbearable pain at times, but during these past months I have been going through something more painful than my dreaded stones. You say, “What could be more painful than that?”
God has been healing me from my past and is teaching me to trust Him and other people. The pain is unbearable at times and leaves me paralyzed with fear and moments I am even unable to speak. The emotions of past scars are resurfacing and I would rather experience physical pain then to endure this healing process.
In my past many people close to me would earn my trust little by little then slowly and patiently wait to violate my trust. Then they would be angry with me or threaten me if I told or if I refused their demands. Little did I know their intentions from the very beginning were to harm me and bring me pain. In my past, this happened over and over, time and time again.
I learned over the years to trust nobody, not even God because in my mind everyone was just another perpetrator waiting to gain my trust only to hurt me in the end. So, when someone was nice to me in anyway one of two things would happen. One thing is I would throw myself into the situation and abandon all common sense and safety, which would cause me to end up in a more abusive situation causing more harm and pain. The other thing I would do is I would destroy the relationship thinking I was protecting myself from the inevitable I would get them before they could hurt me. But what I couldn’t see is that in either situation I was still being hurt. I never learned how to trust others or how to communicate. I had put walls up to protect and guard myself against any real or perceived threat and I was in essence self destructing from the inside out surrounded by a fortress of walls no one could penetrate.
God has revealed this and is helping me to deal with this pain. First He is showing me how He is trustworthy. God is showing me His faithfulness. He is loving me without wanting anything in return, no strings attached. God patiently waits for me to come to Him as He draws me in. With God there are no false motives His love is pure and genuine and its been tested over time. He is steadfast and unshakable and God loves me in the good times and in the bad. He is there for me when I am happy, mad, angry or sad. He reveals to me areas of myself I didn’t know existed and helps me to process and to heal. He brings everything into the light leaving no area untouched. He calls me His daughter, His princess, faultless and beautiful.
I want to accept and believe what God says, but then the accuser reminds me of the past and the pain of all the times I did trust someone and I was hurt. And as quick as the healing came it vanishes and I am reminded I shouldn’t and cannot trust anyone because the risk is to great. I begin to think of all the times in my past I thought this or that person would be different and yet the outcome was the same, I was hurt. I begin to believe the lie that says, “My own judgment of one’s character can never be trusted so the outcome is to trust no one, it’s safer that way.” The accuser reminds me, “The walls built in my heart were to protect me and I can never go unprotected.” He tells me, “Nobody helped me in my past and I need to help myself.” He whispers, “Rely on no one.” He tells me, “Not to utter a word because nobody understands me, nobody has gone through this before, so safer to keep it to myself.” His lies continue,” If I dare speak a word and show weakness this will only open the door for further hurt, lest I lock the door and throw away the key, its safer this way.” In my mind the pain is easier then the healing.
This pain from my past has affected every area of my life. It has affected those closest to me the most. God has blessed me with an amazing husband of over 10 years now. He is truly a man after God’s own heart, like David. He is bold and courageous like Joshua. He has literally fought back lions to protect me, like Daniel. He has sat in piles of death, stink, mire and muck just like Jonah in the fish’s belly just to be with me. He has done so much more, all to show me His unending love and to earn my trust. He has apologized and asked for forgiveness (for many arguments I have started), more times than I can count. He loves me unconditionally and continues to lay down his life for me. But as great of a man my husband is, I still (at times) refuse to trust him. I still find myself waiting for the ball to drop, wondering when he too will hurt me, just like everyone else.
But God is greater still. He is working with me to find the root cause of my mistrust and fear and to deal with it, heal from it and learn to trust those closest to me. It is a battlefield everyday to take my thoughts captive and trust God and to trust my husband. Little by little day after day God is showing me the truth and I am experiencing healing. I am also able to distinguish between the truth and the lies of the accuser. God’s word is helping me to walk in the freedom Christ has already paid the price for, for me and for you.
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NLT) says this: Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Today I admit to you my weaknesses and boast in them because I am weak but Christ is in me. Jesus is working on my weaknesses and areas of hurt and shame. He is restoring what the enemy meant to use for destruction. God is calling me to deeper waters even still and sometimes it seems safer where the pain was and easier where all the excuses are. But today I refuse to live there, I want to be healed. I want freedom. I want to trust and not fear. I want to help others experience God’s healing as well. I know I am not alone and neither are you.
If you can relate to this struggle as well, please leave a comment or email me. I would love to pray with you and for you. If for nothing else but to encourage me. Stepping out and sharing is very hard and scary. We all need to know we are in this together and we are stronger together than alone.
Luke 4:18-19 (NLT) “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.
Lord Jesus I thank you for your amazing healing power. God nothing is too big for you. Jesus thank you for your faithfulness, for your trustworthiness. God thank you for continuing to call me out to water just a little to deep so that I may always need to depend on you alone Lord. God use these weaknesses of mine and God bring beauty from ashes all for your glory in Jesus name amen.
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