Would you like to get well?

Michelle and her family visited us in Perth recently.  We found she has the gift of writing so we encouraged her to write. Here she shares about her struggle and desire to overcome depression.

By Michelle Wong

Having been sick from long-term depression and not being able to get out of that deep  dark hole,  I love the passage on the healing of the man by the pool in John 5: 2-15*NLT 1) John 5:2-15 Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda,[a] with five covered porches. 3 Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches.[b] 5 One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years.6 When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” 7 “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” 8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” 9 Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, 10 so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!” 11 But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”12 “Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded. 13 The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. 14 But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” 15 Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him. [New Living Translation]

Here I share the lessons I have learnt from it.

poolofbethesdaThis man had been sick for 38 years. 38 years is a very long time. He may be losing hope, thinking, “When will my breakthrough come? When will I be totally healed? I have been waiting for so long, it seems like it would take forever for my healing to come.”

I felt Jesus asking me just as He asked that man, “Would you like to get well?” This question to me seems to be a challenge.

Most of us sincerely want to get well, but often like that man, we make excuses: “I can’t. I have no one to help me get to the doctor for treatment.”  “I don’t have the money to pay for my medical bills or to buy expensive medications. I am too poor.”  “I can’t afford treatment.” Or “I don’t have family members and friends to give me moral and emotional support.”  Or even sometimes, some of us don’t really want to get well at all, fearing responsibilities when made well. So we would rather give “No” for an answer.

Sometimes when we have been sick for a long time, we often get too comfortable with it and have settled down with it, because we fear the changes that come with healing. Sometimes we may even say we are accepting the sickness and embracing it. This is what doctors tell me is called having a “sick role” which is a difficult illness to cure. But personally, I believe God does not want me to grovel in that emotional, social, and spiritual stagnation. God has a better plan for my life.

Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”  He is also saying to me, “You have fallen so many times, and mourned for too long. It is time to stand up again. Get up! Pick up your mat. I will give you the strength to clear up the mess of your past. Let it go. Walk, get going, move on into the good future I have for you!”

I took my first step of faith. I began praying for God’s strength and His power to come upon me because I can’t rely on my own effort to discard all the baggage of the past, to delete all those painful memories of traumatic moments. And I cannot, on my own, possibly forgive all those who wounded me.  I needed the supernatural power of God to do that! And now, little by little, God is helping me.

The sequence of the process is significant: Luke the physician wrote  that the man was healed, then he rolled up his mat.   Many have mistaken the process:  roll up your mat, clear up your mess, then you will be healed.  But the actual process is: obey Jesus; let His power heal you, then you will have the divine strength and health to clean up your mess. I have to take the first step by answering Him, “Yes, Lord, I want to be healed,”. Then He will help me work out my healing.

The Word said “Afterward, Jesus found the man in the Temple.”  Jesus will definitely find me too. As He said to the man, “Now you are well,  stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.”  Jesus is saying to me, “Now that you have made that decision to be healed stop turning back, digging up the old hurts, wallowing in self-pity, harbouring bitterness, anger, hatred, resentment, self-blaming, etc.

“Would you like to get well?” I have made the decision to say “Yes” to Him.

 
Jesus is asking you the same question today. end48

If you want to read more edifying testimonies please go to asianbeacon.org

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References   [ + ]

1. John 5:2-15 Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda,[a] with five covered porches. 3 Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches.[b] 5 One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years.6 When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” 7 “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” 8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” 9 Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, 10 so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!” 11 But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”12 “Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded. 13 The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. 14 But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” 15 Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him. [New Living Translation]

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