Dealing with a broken leg, foot and ankle has altered my lifestyle tremendously. Most of my days are spent sitting with my leg elevated, occasionally using a wheel chair or knee scooter for the trip to get my lunch out of the refrigerator, or make my way to my bedroom at night.
My doctor’s instructions are that I am to put no weight on my foot for six to eight weeks, and keep the leg elevated. It sounds so simple, but I am so tired of the routine. Some days I just don’t want to do what it takes to get well. Yet, every day I obediently do my part. Why? Because I want to get well. I want to walk again. I want to get back to living again.
I want to get well.
Chapter five of the book of John relates quite a story of a man who had been crippled for thirty-eight years. He spent his days lying on a mat. Many scholars believe it was probably a small 3’ by 5’ mat that became his world by the Pool of Bethesda. He would lay there daily, hoping that it was his day of healing.
Jesus asked an interesting question to the man in verse six, “Do you want to get well?” Really, Jesus? What a silly question! Perhaps it wasn’t so silly. The man’s response was to give all the reasons why he couldn’t be healed. He lived in captivity to a 3’ by 5’ world.
As I talk with people, I’ve been tempted to ask, “Do you want to get well?” I hear reason after reason why they can’t get beyond the prison of their 3’ by 5’ world.
I get it! I really do. I’ve known sexual abuse, miscarriage, the loss of a child, and a score of other things – things that invited me to live in a 3’ by 5’ world. It’s often more inviting to do mat time, than to walk the process of healing.
My heart is gripped when I listen to the painful stories of people’s lives. Life can be brutal. I believe many must answer the question, “Do you want to get well?” Sometimes the journey is slow and difficult. As with my leg, we will sometimes still feel the pain while awaiting the healing to be completed.
Jesus came to deliver us from a 3’ by 5’ life. We won’t always receive instant healing. We certainly can’t turn back the clock and erase what brought pain and brokenness into our lives. Jesus sought out a man who needed healing. Jesus is always seeking those who are broken, and need His healing.
Jesus is still asking the question, “Do you want to get well?”
Let’s try to unpack this question by looking at it in a different light. Perhaps Jesus was digging deeper and asking things like: Do you really want things to change? Are you ready to leave behind all of the excuses?
Do you ever feel like you are stuck in a 3’ by 5’ world? Enter Jesus! There is a big world out there, so don’t let pain and brokenness keep you on the mat. Jesus is ready to help you get off that mat, and walk into healing.
As I stare at this elevated, black-casted leg, I wish it was instantly healed. I wish I could turn back time and change that moment that brought such pain and discomfort to my life. It would be easy to wallow in my sorrow and pain.
But … I want healing. I want to get beyond the pain, and off the limitations of a 3’ by 5’ world. I do the things I need to do for healing. Therapy is down the road, and I will do the things I need to do for healing. I want to get well. Do you?
“Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.” – Jeremiah 17:14