I’ve just been reading the New Testament account of Jesus’ encounter at the healing pool – John 5: 6. On the face of it, it does seem that Jesus is being a bit harsh? Here is this sick man lying by the side of the pool, complaining that there is no one to help him in – they are all too busy looking after number one! And Jesus asks him if he really wants to get well. Then tells him to “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” Presumably Jesus didn’t even lend him an arm?
I tried to relate this to my own experience:
I’ve been coping with chronic fatigue syndrome for several years. It was terrible at first, like having the rug pulled from under me. My strength had gone and I was pitched into a world of forced inactivity, pain and discomfort – and the rest!
My first response was to look to God for answers. After all, I believed in a God who heals today! In my searching and as I surrendered to God in the situation, I received His promise to heal me personally. Slowly, very slowly, I began to change, learn new ways and even grew stronger. However, I still experienced relapses at frequent intervals, which I found extremely disappointing and debilitating. I just couldn’t understand how, despite all my requests, God could continue allowing it to happen. It seemed to me, that although I believed He had promised to heal me, He was doing nothing about it! I was even angry with God!
When you are continually sapped of energy and just when you think you are making some progress, you are knocked down again and again, it can be very discouraging. It is so easy, when the medics don’t have any lasting solutions, when those around you are getting on with their – successful? – lives and you are left on the sidelines to cope on you own, to get into a ‘victim’ mindset of rejection, thinking no one cares!
It was a jolt to realise that I was angry – and with God! Taking responsibility for this was the catalyst to get me to change my way of thinking. God wasn’t knocking me down. Far from it, He was for me! It came to me that God could be saying something like, “I’ve already done what you asked, so what are you waiting for?” I did not receive instantaneous healing, but this change in attitude heralded an acceleration of the healing process.
I had to accept that once my eyes were opened to the truth, there was no room for passivity. We need to take action, however small. I believe that as I walk with Father, He will meet me on the way.