One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” John 5:5-6 NLT
At first glance, that quote from Jesus at the Pool of Bethesda may sound like a ridiculous question. “The guy’s been waiting at the pool for 38 years hoping for an opportunity for healing; of course he wants to be made well!” It’s easy for us to answer that question when we’re talking about someone else. Sooner or later, all of us will face this same question in our own lives. Do we really want to be made well?
There is a lot more to that question when you go below the surface. In today’s terms, Jesus would be asking that man if he wanted to be made well, which would mean that he would lose his social security benefits and his bridge card. He would now be responsible to find a job, work faithfully, and provide for his own necessities. He can no longer rely on others to fulfill his needs. He will have to learn to receive empowerment from the Lord, take appropriate risks, and learn to perform skills that were previously impossible for him. That is scary.
It’s very similar in our recovery. Our addictions have kept us on some type of matt for years. We simultaneously hate it, and fear the day when the Lord calls us off our matt to walk away from our sinful addictions. We know how to be broken. We don’t know how to be whole. We’ve even received false comfort from our addiction. Will the Lord really give us something better? We know in our heads that He says He will. In our hearts we aren’t so sure.
If Jesus is calling you off your matt, you don’t have to do it alone. Reconciliation Ministries can help. We offer licensed professional counseling, prayer ministry, and support groups. Call 586.739.5114 and find out how we can assist you in your recovery.
Dan Hitz and your friends at Reconciliation Ministries of Michigan, Inc.
P.S. You can read a related story in this month's newsletter. Those who have experienced the trauma of abuse also have to consider life off the matt of emotional devastation.