Hey Church Family!
Our families shape us in profound ways. Our homes deeply matter to us. When it comes to our homes, most of us experience a mixture of both good and bad memories. There were experiences that were joyful and incredible. And there were some experiences that brought pain and hurt. All of these experiences have made an impact on who you are today, and how you function in your home.
In John 5, Jesus asks an interesting question. It's a question that seems so simple, easy and obvious. But when you take some time to really think through what he's asking, Jesus' question is anything but simple, easy or obvious. He asks a man who had been dealing with an ailment for 38 if he wants to get well.
Picture the scene. There's a guy who had been suffering with a problem, a condition, a situation for 38 years. He'd tried everything to get well. He tried to get into the pool when the waters stirred. But there was no one there to help him. And when he did get in, someone sneaks in before him and was healed first. And Jesus shows and asks him if he wants to get well.
Interestingly, the man never answered Jesus' question. Instead, he gave all of his reasons for not being healed. This causes me to wonder how many excuses I give Jesus. We all have excuses for the reasons we are the way we are. "I can't help but get angry at this person—everyone else would too." Or, "I'll start tomorrow. Today just got away from me. Things will be different tomorrow." Or, "If I gave that up, everyone would think I'm crazy."
It's a sad reality for many of us. We say we want to be healed, or get well, or quit, or break the cycle, but so often we have many reasons as to why we haven't been healed, or been made well, or quit, or broke the cycle. There are so many reasons we give, that many of us have actually become used to the brokenness, living in it, and becoming comfortable with it. It's easier to stay broken than to be healed.
The problem with this is that we don't grow. We don't mature. We stay stuck. What I often see as a pastor is not a 38 year Christian, it's 1 year Christian who have been stuck doing the same thing 38 years.
Do you want to get well?
The very next thing that Jesus says is drastic. It's big. He tells this man, "Get up!" In other words, I want you to do the thing you haven't been able to do for 38 years. "Do you want to get well? Then, get up!"
A miracle happened. This man's healing came when he stood up. Imagine what would have happened if the man responded, "Oh, no I can't do that. I haven't done that for 38 years! Could you just help me get into the pool the next time the water is stirred?" He'd still be there, stuck in his own brokenness. His healing came when he was obedient to whatever it was that Jesus asked him to do.
This causes me to wonder—what is Jesus asking you to do? What drastic thing must you do to receive the healing you need? Could it be that you need to change your job? Do you need to get rid of your smart phone and trade it in for a "dumb" phone? Do you need to rework your weekly schedule so that you spend time on the right priorities? Do you need to step out and join a small group? Do you need to serve on a ministry team?
We can easily stay where we are, or we can move forward—but we can't do both. I pray that this challenge will bring about some new light in your journey with Christ, and lead you into a growing relationship with him.
Together in Christ,
Notes from the Staff @The Woods