When Jesus saw him and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” – John 5:6 NLT
“Would you like to get well?” This was the question that Jesus asked a man that had been sick for thirty-eight years. For nearly four decades this man had sat by the pool of Bethesda hoping someone would come along and change his situation. Suddenly, the healer himself shows up and asks him if he wants to get better. You would expect this man to quickly exclaim, “Yes! Please heal me!” But he doesn’t. He says, “I can’t.” It seems ridiculous, doesn’t it? What he basically said when Jesus asked him if he wanted to get well was, “Sure, but nothing seems to be working.” This man had determined that his situation was hopeless.
But Jesus didn’t let him off the hook that easily. He knew the man had gotten comfortable with his illness, but He had so much more in store for him. He also recognized that the man had given up and needed to do something. So instead of just telling him he had been healed, Jesus commanded him to, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” His healing was a foregone conclusion. This man had to believe that Jesus had healed him and then in faith, he had to move.
Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! – John 5:9 NLT
When someone has been dealing with a chronic illness for a long time, it can seem hopeless. Do they want to get well? Sure, but the doctors have no answers. Sure, but the medications have side effects. Sure, but there is no cure. Sure, but some days aren’t so bad. Eventually, the illness becomes part of who they are and they start to lose the will to be healed. They know in their heart that God can heal, but they’ve convinced themselves that maybe He has chosen not to. They give in to the symptoms and they may even stop asking God to heal them.
When healing doesn’t come the way we expect it to or in the time frame we hope it will, we must not give up! We can’t allow the devil to convince us that if God hasn’t healed us yet, He never will. We have to keep praying and keep believing! Our healing could be just around the corner, and if we remain stuck in hopelessness, we might miss it altogether.
Read: John 5:1-9