John 5: 1-8
Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[ and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  [b] 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 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?”
7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
I remember reading this as a new believer and thought to myself what a silly question for Jesus to ask the man…”Does he want to get well?”—of course he does! He has been crippled for 38 years—what a horrible existence. Clearly he wants to get well.
But now with years of counseling under my belt and years studying God’s Word, I realize that what Jesus asked that day was profoundly wise! Because the truth is not everyone wants to be healed from what they are struggling with in life…some just want to complain.
Not because they are bad people, but because they must decide for themselves whether they are willing and ready to move on in life or if they get more out of staying stuck. Have they become so comfortable in the victim state that they don’t want to change? Perhaps they are so accustomed to living with a poverty mindset that they don’t trust God to change their lives if they are obedient with handling their finances. It may be that they have a judgment on themselves such as, “I just always choose bad men in my life” so they simply keep getting in abusive relationships.
I’ve seen this in myself. My husband and I got into a lot of debt and it felt impossible to ever get out from underneath it. The idea of “getting well,” meaning being debt free, was not even considered a possibility in our heads so we continued our bad behaviors. I whined about being in debt. I got pity from well-meaning friends because of my situation. I felt victimized because I grew up in a household where poor financial management was taught. I blamed my husband. But did I ever REALLY choose to get well? Not for about 15 years. Not until it got so miserable and I was so desperate did I “choose to get well.”
We chose to get help, created a budget, and disciplined ourselves to do what God said no matter what and realized financial freedom from debt just 30 months later! God worked in amazing ways once we decided to be obedient but we had to want to get well first.
How about you? Do you want to get well? It doesn’t matter what you are struggling from: addiction, codependency, debt, anger, poor relationships, poor boundaries, depression, anxiety, gambling, shopping, etc. God is waiting for you to decide to get well.
He isn’t kidding when He tells us to “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11: 28-30
If you want to get well, get the help you need. We are not to try to do life alone. We need wise counsel and the support of others.