Of course I want to be well. I’m sick of being sick. I have no interest in further hosting this virus that has been kicking my hind end for 4 or 5 days and is just now beginning to relent–a little.
The origin of the question, though, is bigger than whether I want to recover from a modern day annoying virus. The scenario plays out in the Gospel of John, Chapter 5. To synopsize, Jesus is in Jerusalem. He visits the pool called Bethesda where a large number of sick, lame, and paralyzed people waited for an angel (yep, for real) to go into the pool and stir up the water. The first one into the water after the angel makes his move miraculously recovers from his/her ailment(s).
I’ve always wanted a pool. I had never thought of having a pool with a life-healing angel until today. That would be sweet. And I would be well. Always. Hmmm . . .
Anyway, verse 5 of the John’s Gospel tells us a man had been at the pool for for thirty-eight years. Thirty. Eight. Years. 456 months. 13,870 days. You get the idea. He’s been there a long time. He’s ill. Obviously seriously ill because he has never, ever been the first one into the healing waters. Honestly, I’m not sure I’d have had the will to try again on day 13,871.
When Jesus sees the man lying there, he asks, “Do you want to get well?” Surely the man must want to respond by saying, “You’re kidding, right? You do understand I’ve been here for 38 years . . . ” Instead the sick man answers that he has no one to put him into the pool so others always get there ahead of him. Jesus tells him, “Get up. Pick up your mat and walk.” And he does. Just like that! (snap of the fingers here)
I wish I could tell you this post is about me getting that pool or that I could theologically explain exactly what Christ is teaching by this healing. I know I’m not getting the pool, so I’ll tell you what this story means to me in my current circumstances.
Jesus knew the man had been ill for 38 years. He sees us. As we are. He knows I have been sick for 5 days. He also knows that physical illness isn’t my biggest obstacle right now. I’m being healed of my virus. Maybe it’s just tired of living in this body that gets crabbier every day it has to coexist with such a rude, unrelenting guest.
My other current unwell condition is spiritual. So when Jesus asks, “Cindy, do you want to get well?” he is waiting for me to admit I have a need to be healed. And oh do I need healing. I’ve been so busy feeling sorry for myself, I’ve neglected being joyful and counting the blessings I do have. When I haven’t been sleeping, I’ve been focusing on pastimes that require very little interaction with anyone other than myself and allow me plenty of time to focus on just how well I don’t feel. Yuck.
I want to be well. Regardless of how my body feels, I want to claim joyfulness, choose thankfulness, and give praise and thanksgiving which are the lifeblood of all of us who believe.
If memory serves me correctly, Bethesda means House of Mercy. Praise the Lord that I don’t have to win the race to be the first one into the pool to be healed. By his mercy and grace, I am well.