The meaning of Bethesda is House of Mercy. I believe the Holy Spirt is telling us though the story of the lame man healed at the pool of Bethesda, that if we want a healing, we find it in the house of God, the Church.
The environment you’re in could determine whether or not you receive your miracle. I ended a friendship once, because whenever I was with this person, I felt terrible about myself, as though my best wasn’t good enough.
This was not a healthy environment for me to thrive in.
It seemed to take me weeks to recover from her words. We have neuroceptors in our nervous system which constantly scan our environments for safety or danger. If we’re in a situation where we’re sensing danger, we will not heal.
When I was very unwell, I remember going through every sin in the book, repenting and asking for forgiveness for any sin I could think of.
I even repented for things I hadn’t done, just in case to ensure I was completely covered. You see I thought sin was stopping God from healing me.
Are you the same? Have you repented again and again, thinking that somehow sin is stopping God from blessing you?
I hope that reading this post will put your mind at rest and enlighten you in knowing that God blesses us even when we fail and to make a suggestion as to some of the things that are hindering healing in your life.
The characteristics of Ruth in the Bible, prove that unfair circumstances don’t need to disadvantage you on your healing journey.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the story of the tortoise and the hare? The tortoise puts one foot in front of the other and does his best. He doesn’t complain about the unfairness of the race or compare himself to his competitor.
He is so unlikely to win against a hare yet his character and attitude win him the race.
The most unqualified becomes the winner.
Do you ever feel at a disadvantage due to your disability or health condition? Maybe you’re questioning God’s plan, especially if you’ve been ill for many years.
Many years ago, when my body was so riddled with pain that even getting dressed or showered seemed to take all day (and on some days, not at all). I was in a constant place of defeat and lack because I didn’t understand how to receive God’s grace.
The Bible tells us to choose life, I didn’t know how to; the horror of my situation seemed greater than the power of grace.
Are you the same? Are you so overcome by the symptoms in your body, you’re in a constant state of struggle?
The movie Soul Surfer tells the true story of 13 year old professional surfer Bethany Hamilton, whose arm was bitten off by a shark.
It looked as though she would never surf again and certainly not be able to partake in professional competitions. Bethany refused to allow her situation hinder her.
She pushed pass the stares and the disbelief of others when she relearnt to surf with just one arm. Bethany kept on training, believing she was well able to win professional competitions once again.
She continued moving forwards towards her goal. What an amazing and inspirational woman of God.
You and I are asked to expect miracles in the face of the impossible, but how is this even possible when you’ve been ill for many many years?
How can we continue to believe in the midst of pain and suffering?
Jim Collins’ book ‘Good to Great’ tells of something called the Stockdale paradox.
Admiral Jim Stockdale was in the US Navy during the Vietnam War. He was shot down and held captive for 8 years in the Hanoi Hilton, the infamous POW prison where he was tortured over 20 times.
In a public interview after his release he was asked why he survived and others didn’t.
The leper in who approached Jesus in Matt 8, fell on his knees and chose to worship Jesus, he knew the benefits of praise.
When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean. Matt 8:1-2
Despite the extremeness of his suffering, he still humbled himself and praised God. Wow! That’s powerful!
I remember when I first became unwell, I knew a women who had a long term cancer. She’d had it for several decades. Often I would think “If God hasn’t healed her, what chance do I have?” I didn’t realise at the time but I was feeling unworthy of God’s love.
I had a false belief system that healing and spiritual maturity were linked. She was a very close walk with the Lord, proficient in numerous spiritual gifts. I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t healed.
Have you ever felt too unworthy to approach God? Do you think you’re not good enough to receive a healing? Maybe you too think your relationship with God needs to be at a certain level? This is exactly what I thought.
Well, no-one was thought to be more unworthy of God’s love than the leper. In fact, lepers couldn’t approach any man, least of all the Son of God. He was completely unqualified to worship or come near to God.
Are you a huggy touchy-feely Christian? Or do you prefer your ‘personal space?’ I definitely fall into the latter group.
I remember going to New Year’s Eve parties and conveniently going to the bathroom at midnight to avoid those awkward New Year hugs with everyone.
Therapists and doctors claim that hugs are good for our health. We see the healing touch of Jesus in the way He heals the leper. It is not by accident that Jesus chooses to heal him in this way.
When the doctor says ‘there’s nothing more we can do for you’, the distress and disappointment is heartbreaking.
Few things are worse than knowing you’ll be suffering for the rest of your life or that you’re dying.
When Jesus cleanses the leper, He says ‘I am willing’. Thankfully no matter how impossible an illness, the Lord Jesus will never say those words to us.