How badly do you want healing?
This is a question I’ve had to deal with often over the past few years of sobriety. Living a life of sobriety doesn’t simply mean not ingesting alcohol; it’s a shift in perspective, working hard to change established thought patterns and behaviors. It’s difficult and unnatural much of the time and part of me has often wanted to give up.
Why are we humans apt to desire suffering?
With that statement I picture some people’s eyebrows being raised, arguments being formed to support the desire to be healed.
We all know that we cannot improve our lives without truly wanting to. As an alcoholic believe me when I say I want to argue the point that I had never wanted to suffer. Looking back however, I have to ask why it took me so long to stop drinking. Help was available to me but I avoided it, convincing myself I didn’t have a problem. It’s not as simple as saying I enjoyed being a drunk, but then it is actually.
I drank because I wanted to be drunk.
There’s no pretty way of saying that, there was always a part of me that wanted to be drunk. My fear of being sober outweighed my desire to be sober at this stage of my life. Fear held me back for too long.
In sobriety I’ve been building my spiritual foundation, my belief is that my faith can always outweigh my fear and by strengthening it I’m fortifying myself for future temptations.
Part of building this spiritual foundation has been reading the Bible and getting to know Jesus and his life. Jesus was a man whom I’d always thought of as more than a prophet, to me he’s my savior. Imagine my surprise when this savior of mine asks a seemingly pointless question.
Follow me to John 5. It opens with Jesus arriving at a pool near Jerusalem called Bethesda.It’s a pathetic scene, around the pool lay a multitude of suffering people; the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. As Jesus approached, there wasn’t a stir among the people because they didn’t recognize nor want him.
Jesus walks over to a lame man, a man who had been dependent upon others for 38 years and is lying there minding his business by the pool. We find out later that this man wanted to get into the pool because of its legendary healing powers.
John 5:4 From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease they had.
The lame man had nobody to help him and each time he would try someone would go in front of him.
Jesus the healer approached this man and asked “Do you want to get well?”
Now let’s think on this for a second, Jesus sees this guy who is so obviously lying there trying to get into the pool to be healed and he asks that question?
It would seem the answer should be obvious to Jesus but let’s pause for a moment and give this some thought. Why would the one human with the power to heal ask this question? There would obviously be a reason deeper than the surface value if you believe Jesus is our Lord the way I do.
For many of us who suffer being healed feels like the ultimate goal, the one we desire over everything and yet perhaps it’s not. As I mentioned earlier I drank even though I thought I wanted to be well. Looking back I can see how so many of my actions were fear based, knee jerk behaviors I perpetuated to protect myself yet actually harmed myself and others.
If you ask yourself that question how would you respond?
Are you actually ready to succeed in your life? Are you willing to change established behaviors and patterns?
Healing is not a simple task, it’s an ongoing process that never ends.
This isn’t just about alcoholism, take weight loss, gambling, over-spending, negative thinking, unhealthy relationships…..well the list is endless but each aspect of our lives where we’re actually unwell.
The man by the pool at Bethesda didn’t know who Jesus was and yet he wanted to be well badly enough to believe that Jesus could actually heal him. This faith worked, Jesus did heal him and he picked up the mat he’d been lying upon and walked.
My healing came by overcoming my fear, by turning to my faith for strength….
We all know that nobody can be helped unless they are ready and willing to accept help…..so perhaps it’s time to ask yourselves if you’re ready and willing to be healed.
Can you truly believe that your faith can overcome your fear, can you even see how fear is holding you back?