John 5:1-17 tells the story of a man who needs healing. He’s waiting by a fountain that can supposedly heal all kinds of sickness, but he can’t get close enough to actually be healed. He’s there, waiting in the crowd, when a stranger comes to him and asks him one simple question.
‘Do you want to be healed?’
“When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” John 5:6
This should be a simple question with a simple answer. After years of being unable to walk, the man should be screaming ‘yes!’ at the top of his lungs. Wouldn’t it be?
But that isn’t how the man responds. He responds to the stranger – Jesus – with a list of reasons why he cannot be healed. The man can’t walk; he has no one to help him; he’s too slow.
How can I be healed?
Speaking as someone who has dealt with chronic pain for years, this is all too relatable. The idea of my pain just going away all at once is impossible to even imagine. Pain takes years to come to terms with, and sometimes allowing yourself to hope just makes it harder to manage.
And besides, leaving behind the only lifestyle you’re familiar with is scary. Who would I be without the thing that has shaped every part of my life? Who would any of us be without our hardships?
We’re all a little like that man, sometimes. So broken that we can’t even bring ourselves to say ‘yes’ to healing. To freedom. To faith.
We cling onto a way of life that we’re too scared to leave behind. Even though it’s painful and crippling like this, we just can’t imagine a life lived free.
But amazingly, God doesn’t care. Our faith may be too small for us to fathom our future, but that doesn’t stop God from acting.
At a simple command from Jesus, the man in the story took up his bed, walked, and grew in faith. He went out and told his story fearlessly, built up by what he had seen.
He wasn’t even able to admit he needed help, but God used his testimony for His glory.
Lack of faith is not always hindrance to God Almighty. We might be afraid of the healing that we need, but God is not afraid to heal us anyway.
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
What has God healed you from?