“When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?”John 5:6 ESV
Jesus: “Do you want to be healed?”
Me: “Of course I want to get well! What kind of question is that?!”
That’s what goes through my mind every time I read that passage and without question, has been the answer I have offered up in my mind every time I read Jesus’s words.
Yet, now that question really lingers for me. It hangs in the air. It feels like the depth of that question keeps expanding and floating in space like an orb from a si-fi movie.
“Do you want to be healed…?”
Said another way, I think it’s:
- Do you want to struggle?
- Do you need your pain?
- Do you want to feel this way?
- Do you want to be tied to that story?
When we are in unpleasant seasons, our fight and flight response kicks in. Followed by lots and lots of resistance… an internal struggle. We want out. And we want out now.
I don’t know about you, but when I get into a long term situation that I cannot get out of, I get angry. And then try to “power through.”
I get fixated on finding the solution. The doctor. The cure. The pill. The therapy. The job. The way out.
The way out is through our surrender. I think we sometimes get fixated and distracted by our circumstances and forget to look for the healing. The solution.
Until we claim our healing, we cannot be fully healed. Until we claim our purpose, we cannot fully step into it. Until we claim our life, we cannot truly live.
We must believe. And then surrender. Completely.
Stop the struggle. The push. The pull. The internal conflict.
“Surrender to stillness so there is space to receive.”
If we don’t let go of the pain, we cannot receive the healing. If we don’t let go of the job loss, we cannot receive new opportunities. If we do not let go of the failed relationship, we cannot receive love. If we do not let go of the need to be right, we cannot receive creative solutions.
Jesus isn’t physically walking the planet anymore, but healing is still available to all of us at all times. It may not be the healing we think we want. It may not be the solution we think we need. But it may be the healing we need the most.
“Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.”
I wonder if I was that man what I would do.
Would I get up and walk? Or would I argue with Jesus and tell him that I couldn’t walk and tell him why I couldn’t walk. Could he not see that this man has been sitting there for 38 years?!
Pain and suffering often becomes part of our identity in a weird sort of way because it becomes familiar. We become attached to something that we were not born with and is not ours. It does not belong to us. Yet, we claim it.
My pain. My anxiety. My depression. My [fill in the blank].
We were not born feeling fear or anxiety or worry or pain or anger. And when we can surrender to stillness, we can make space to receive what our creator wants for us: Love. Joy. Peace. Healing. Restoration. Transformation.
If you are struggling with pain and sickness, please know you did not bring this on yourself. You didn’t. I didn’t.
But I do think we become attached to some part of it – even if it’s a shame or a guilt attachment. Feeling bad can become addictive or comforting in a weird sort of way and we can forget what it’s like to live lightly.
For me, pain and sickness has been a way to avoid. Avoid my calling. Avoid dealing with my own insecurities. Avoid life when it gets tough.
Pain and suffering can serve on some level until they don’t. If you have something in your life that no longer serves you, leave it in the dust. Let it go. Surrender the need for control. The need to manipulate. The need to be taken care of. The need to be distracted. The need to be right. The need to be “less than.”