Psalm 37: 5 “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this.”
There is a haunting question in scripture that Jesus asks an invalid (John 5): “Do you want to get well?” The obvious answer is yes. Who wouldn’t want to be healthy again after 38 years of disability? But, below the surface, the deeper meaning of wellness is provocative and may not always render easy yeses like we would imagine.
My pastor preached on this recently. (Check it out – Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, 2-26-17). He challenged listeners to think deeply about the diagnosis of un-wellness, or better yet, un-wholeness. I looked in the spiritual mirror and wondered why I and others choose to be satisfied with surface healing and push down our places of misery far away from our “wired in” longing for wholeness – spiritual, emotional, and physical? Why do we settle for forgiveness, but want nothing more? Especially after what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross?
Eternal life starts here. But, we look at it far off in the distance and forget that healing is available now. Hindsight has reminded me that my youthful profession of faith was seriously blind to what healing Jesus had already accomplished. But, by His grace, He enabled that first precarious faith step in my life. Like the invalid at the pool, I got up and knew something was different and even public, but I didn’t recognize the Healer yet. Like the invalid, I got to skip the expected pool path (“angel-touched healing waters”) and just move forward quietly with Jesus. In the meantime, God reached down through my Christian parents to plant me in a faith-fertile place so that I could eventually recognize the Healer for Who He is.
Against the backdrop of adult life and the wooing of the Holy Spirit, I finally recognized the Source of Wholeness – Jesus. Don’t get me wrong. I still chase after things to supercharge my sense of wellbeing – the next women’s conference, the next audio or video sermon, the next prayer meeting, the next theology book, the next ministry position. That just makes me a collector of Christian trappings, not a Christ lover. Real healing is in Christ alone. Be advised.
I have to trust Him in the brief steps and seasons without really knowing what He is up to behind the scenes of my life. Then, hindsight shows me that He has been adding grace upon grace to my life and has formed in me a longing for true wholeness. Like the invalid, I often want to grow comfortable with my familiar affliction surroundings. But, like a Christ lover, I want to risk it all and allow the maybe painful movement of the capable Healer in my brokenness. I want to get really well.
Psalm 73:23-26 “Yet I am always with you; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”