by Arlene Showalter
6/08/2008 / Devotionals
When Jesus visited the Pool of Bethesda, where disabled people waited for healing, he met a man who had lain there for 38 years. After hearing of his plight, Jesus asked him a most peculiar question; "Do you want to be healed?"
The man had been sick for 38 years. Of course he wanted to be healeddidn't he?
What did the man do all those years? Surely in 38 years, he could have rolled into the water if necessary. He could have asked to be place on the edge of the pool and fallen in when the waters moved.
Perhaps he enjoyed having an excuse not to work, while others tended to his needs because he was unable. Maybe he enjoyed idle gossip. Whatever the reason it appears he did nothing to help himself. He had reached a level of comfort in his misery.
Sometimes we allow ourselves to become comfortable in our own trying situations without even realizing it. After experiencing a devastating divorce, I experienced an expected period of grief.
However, as time went on, I wrapped the grief around me like a security blanket, preventing total healing. Finally God had to ask me "Do you want to be healed?" At that moment I had to choose whether I wanted to continue grief, or let it go and choose joy. I had to choose between hope and despair. I had to choose between living and existence.
After the man was healed, Jesus warned him against sinning and returning to his former state. After God healed me, occasions arose to tempt me into returning to grief and I had to choose against it because prolonged grief turns to self-pity. I pursued wholeness in God and today I am more alive than before, full of God's life in me.
The author wishes to enjoy every year God gives her on this earth.
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