“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?” ~ JOHN 5:5-6
To say that we all experience hurts and pains in this life is truly stating the obvious, but to follow that statement by saying being made whole is our choice and responsibility isn’t a known truth for many. Nevertheless, it doesn’t make the statement any less true even if it is not widely known or even accepted.
Consider the man who had been laying by the pool of Bethesda. He had been laying there for thirty-eight years (see vs 5) watching others being made whole while he languished in his condition. Then along comes Jesus. But although fully able to make the man whole in an instant, the Lord does something else, He asks him if being healed and whole is what he desires.
We would all immediately assume that the answer to that question would be a resounding ‘yes,’ but that was not the case for the man, although he eventually allowed the Lord to heal him, just as it is not always the case for each of us.
Pain becomes familiar. Wounds create a false bed of familiarity and security. We know what to expect from being wounded. We develop false confidence in the limitations drawn by our hurts. If we remain in our wounds we don’t run the risk of being hurt again.
But healing … healing can at times be so foreign when the hurt is all we’ve known that the very idea of being made whole challenges the false identity that the wounds have created and some of us have begun to identify ourselves by our wounds.
Being made whole not only challenges this subconscious act, but it contradicts it. Healing calls us to be unmasked, to become familiar with a person and strength we’ve not been acquainted with, to know ourselves in Christ on an entirely new level.
But the Lord will not unmask, unveil, and reveal us without our yes.
I have had to learn that the Lord doesn’t always just come in and heal, although there are times He certainly does do that (see Walking on Broken Bones), but that WE HAVE TO RELEASE OUR PAIN TO HIS HEALING HANDS. WE have to GIVE HIM PERMISSION.
To allow Christ Jesus to remove the masks of hurt and expose the glory of our true selves made whole requires trust and surrender, trusting His love and capable care for us and surrendering the hurt into His hands.
As He asked the man at the Pool of Bethesda, “Do you want to be made whole?” He wants to make you whole. Bring it all to Him, invite Him into it, let Him heal…I know I need to. (See JOHN 5:1-15)
Take some time to listen to this great song by Fred Hammond, Tell Me Where it Hurts, and meditate on His grace and goodness.