today is the first day of spring and i am bundling up and bracing myself for facing the elements and shoveling us out of 6 inches of snow. i freely confess i am no feminist when shovels are the subject. my greg LOVES the snow. he loves the cold and the brrrr! and the methodical achievement of clearing a path and cleaning off cars.
however, today greg is far too sick to be out in the cold.
it has been a rough cold and flu season. there has been a chicken in a pot on my stove at least once every week since november! i make a pretty mean chicken soup. some call it magic soup. i bottle it up some days and drive for hours delivering that golden healing broth to friends and family who are shut in with sickness.
everybody is looking for a healing! nobody ever wants to staaaay sick, right?
in the gospel of john, chapter 5, we hear a challenging story.
Jesus is walking by the pool of bethesda, a place known for its healing powers. he finds a paralytic man, disabled for 38 years, and asks him this question,
“do you want to get well?”
the guy is HERE AT THE HEALING POOL. HIS ARMS AND LEGS DO NOT WORK.
why did Jesus ask such a seemingly silly question?
“do you want to get well?”
turns out, this man’s infirmity was his identity.
being healed would change everything! his habits, his friendships, his income, his work load, his status, his schedule...all would change.
in the bigger story, this man was much more than “just” a recipient of the healing power of Christ. Jesus had a purpose for this man...and it was time to get to it!
so Jesus says,
“GET UP” ...Jesus never has a problem telling us to do the “impossible”.
“PICK UP YOUR MAT” ….Jesus doesn't leave allowance for relapse or retreat.
“WALK” ….Jesus strengthens us to get on with his purpose for our life.
do you want to get well today?
i’m not talking about colds and flus.
consider the health of all in you that God has designed and purposed for worshiping him. heart. soul. brain. body.
stop and reflect.
pray psalm 139 : 23 & 24.
"Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting."
it is possible to be sick in our heart, soul, mind, and body for so long that we become comfortable with that infirmity. the pain becomes a familiar part of us. our infirmity becomes a part or the whole of our identity.
but today Jesus is asking you to shed that thing which has hindered his purpose “walking” in and through you.
the change might be inconvenient, unsettling, even frightening. but you will receive strength for those challenges.
consider the question of Jesus, “do you want to get well?”
- Rebecca Ed Sparks