Do You Want To Be Well?
For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” John 5:4-6 NKJV
Can you imagine Jesus standing in front of you and asking, “Do you want to be made well”? Who of us wouldn’t say, “YES, PLEASE”? A snap of the fingers. A blink of an eye. A nod of the head. Any number of quick, magical fixes that don’t require any effort on our part. Just a simple “POOF” and we’re all better. Mental torture eradicated. Physical ailments reversed and wholeness restored, all the way down to the cellular level. The aches of this life gone. Permanent peace. Who wouldn’t want that? But before any change can happen, a decision has to surface. You have to want to be well.
Don’t worry. Your objection isn’t lost on me. I know if you were sitting here you’d point out, “I just told you I wanted to be made well. Weren’t you listening?” I hear you, but let me clarify. Wanting to be made well is not the same thing as wanting to be well. Having someone make you well is passive. It doesn’t require action. Wanting to be well, on the other hand, requires effort and commitment. You become invested in the outcome. So, how do you play an active role in becoming well? Here’s the beginning of an imperfect and incomplete list, but maybe it’ll give you some inspiration to get started:
- Turn in your complaining and self-doubt for a positive attitude. Quit feeding your mind self-destructive words and phrases like “I can’t” or “I’ll never.” Your brain listens to what you say, so feed yourself encouragement by using uplifting descriptions of your progress. “I’m getting there” and “one day I’ll be able to” gives your heart hope, and it’ll keep you from giving up when times get hard.
- Choose that drama will not define your life. Stop encouraging others to feel sorry for you on days you might not being feeling great or achieving your goals. You don’t need negative attention to propel you forward. If anything, having others feel sorry for you is only holding you back.
- Keep your doctor appointments and follow-through with what they ask you to do at home or in between visits. Remember, they’ve gone to school and have been educated on how to help you. However, strength and healing will only come if you do the work. No one else is going to do it for you. If you’re supposed to attend physical therapy or do exercises at home, don’t make excuses for why it’s not getting done. Make the follow-up appointments, find someone who will hold you accountable when you want to wimp out, but don’t blame them for your part in your recovery. This is your life. This isn’t a dress rehearsal. Tell your mind that you are worth the effort it takes to get you to a better place. You’re the only person holding you back.
- Make healthy choices starting now. Maybe you have a long history of eating bad food, not exercising, or being repulsed by the person staring back at you in the mirror. The moment you’re in RIGHT NOW doesn’t have to be like the one you just lived in. Why wait another second? Choose to make decisions you’ll be proud of this very minute. No one is telling you to continue down a self-destructive path. If they are, you need to seriously reconsider who you’re hanging out with. How you move forward is based on small choices from this moment on. Choose wisely.
When looking at my life and where I want it to be, Jeremiah 29:11 is one of my favorite go-to Bible verses, because it lays out the desires of God’s heart and what He wants for me—and for you. The New International Version reads: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” The devil tries so hard to discourage us, trying to make us feel stuck and helpless in our circumstances. But God reveals even more of His heart in John 10:10 (NKJV). “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” God never wants more for us than what He’s willing to provide. So, this takes us back to the real question: do you want to be well?