Do You Want to Get Well?
“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love," could be written on my tombstone.
I get lost or stuck a lot. It's a reoccurring thing. Old, unhealthy patterns reemerge at the most inconvenient time. I fall for that trap each time.
Maybe you can relate. Maybe you're stuck in a rut. Or you're discouraged because you're not where you want to be in life. You need a kick in pants and a bit of direction in life. Me too.
If that's you, I want to share with you something that has been helpful to me. One of the primary ways God gets me back on track is through reading the Bible. I especially love the stories of Jesus found in the four Gospels.
In the Gospels we find Jesus doing a lot of stuff and asking a lot of questions. The Bible records 307 questions asked by Jesus. That's a lot of questions. When I get stuck, I meditate on one of these questions and it helps me get back on track.
In the next several posts, I’ll share with you five of my favorite questions that Jesus asks in the Gospels. I want to warn you, that these five questions are powerful. They are life-changing questions. Jesus first asked these questions to people who were stuck or after they just had a big failure. His questions was a catalyst that led to breakthroughs and changed lives. May it continue to do the same in our lives today.
Do you really want to get well?
In John 5:1-9, Jesus goes to the Pool of Bethesda. There was a rumor that the pool's waters had healing powers. It was said that an angel would visit that pool, stir its waters, and heal the first person in the pool.
Jesus found dozens, maybe hundreds, of sick and desperate people in need of healing. He walked up to a man who has been crippled for 38 long years and ask him, "Do you want to get well?"
What an insensitive question! I would think that would be a dumb question to ask. Of course, he wants to get well. He's been waiting at the healing pool for 38 years!
But Jesus knows the hearts of men far better than I do. When He asks this man if he wants to be made well, he doesn't say, "Yes Lord, make me whole!" Instead, the paralyzed man complains, makes excuses, and blames others.
Here's his reply as recorded in John 5:7:
"Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me."
Please let me translate what he's saying. He says, "You see, I really want to get well. But it's not my fault. It's so crowded, and I can't get into the water quick enough. I sit on the edge of the pool and try to get in. But someone always beats me to it."
Notice that he never answers the question Jesus asked. Jesus asked him if he wanted to get well. He comes up with excuses and blames others for his problems. He doesn't take responsibility. And he seems to have accepted his disability as a way of life.
The truth of the matter is that it is impossible to live with the same problem, or a negative pattern of behavior, and not justify or accept the problem. You learn to endure the problem. And you will never change what you're willing to endure.
Change, even the good kind, is hard and scary. All this man knows is his disability. Being crippled, he lived by begging for alms. But if he was healed, how would make a living? Would he have to get a job? Would he have to polish his resume and or start driving an Uber?
You've heard the saying, "The devil you know is better than the devil you don't." That's the kind of logic that keeps people stuck. We don't like being stuck where we are, but change is so much scarier.
So if you're stuck, Jesus is asking you the same question He asked that man who was crippled for 38 years.
"Do you want to get well?"
He's asking us:
- Are you satisfied with where you're at?
- Do you really want a better marriage?
- Do you really want a better relationship with your kids?
- Do you really want to break that secret habit?
- Do you really want to get out of debt?
- Do you really want to stop being so angry and full of resentment?
- Do you really want to break that sinful habit?
- Do you really want to grow closer to God?
- Do you really want to learn how to pray?
- Do you really want to make a difference in this world?
Jesus is able to change your life. So here's a warning... If your life is perfect, exactly the way you want it to be, please don't bother with Jesus. Jesus is a catalyst that will change your life.
Our problem isn't that God can't change us. Our problem is that we really don't want to get well. That's because we've grown comfortable and learned to accept our problems. In "The LIFE Path" I write that "dissatisfaction is the beginning of change. You cannot change what you are willing to endure."
So if you're not where you want to be in life, Jesus is asking you a potentially life-changing question. He's asks, "Do you want to get well?"
How you answer that question can become the catalyst you need for the life-change you desire.