Imagine sitting by the wayside and unable to see, probably for a great many years. Imagine the the conditioning, his thinking patterns and survival strategies. Bartimaeus chose to demolish such strongholds the day he met Jesus.
Could it be that God is inviting us to do the same?
‘Ill always be a blind beggar…..I don’t get the happiness everyone else gets…..I’ll never work…..It’s not fair…..Things will never change…….I’ve been this way too long…..’
Blind Bartimaeus knew how to honour God and this opened the door to his healing.
In his book, ‘The Honour Key’ Ps Russel Evans says this about the lifestyle of Jesus.
‘Every miracle, every breakthrough…….happened when people honored what he carried…..or honored who He was’
The story of Bartimaeus shows us how people pleasing can stop our healing. I love that Bartimaeus had enough shameless faith to ignore the crowds and pursue Jesus.
When I trained in counselling, I was surprised to discover just how much of a people pleaser I was and how my whole life was rooted in shame.
One of the reasons I love the healing of Bartimaeus is because it reminds me that God sees those who society may view as ‘invisible’.
Have you noticed, that in every community, there is always the ‘in’ crowd. You know, those who tick the right boxes.
Then there’s those who feel like a square peg in a round hole.
As believers we are the head not the tail.
When you think of how you’re living with a chronic condition, are you allowing the Spirit in you to be in control, or have your coping strategies conditioned you to a place of the underdog?
In other words, are your survival skills running the show?
The more negative attention you receive for having symptoms, the harder it will be to heal.
I know the frustration when you’re living with an hidden illness, yet people think it’s quite minor because you look so well and healthy?
I’ve had experience of this. I remember once being in a church service where the minister invited the congregation to lay hands on the sick. No-one wanted to lay hands on me. Why? Because there was an elderly man with cancer in the room.
The healing at the pool of bethesda teaches us how to position our hearts for a miracle healing.
This poor man had suffered for 38 years which caused him to spiral down into self-pity. His eyes were on the severity of his situation. He was closed to any forward thinking. In all honesty, I think I’d be exactly the same.
Can you identify with this?
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.
The movie Soul Surfer tells the true story of 13 year old professional surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm to a shark bite.
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.
Are you struggling to believe God’s promises because you’ve been ill for many many years? The story of admiral Jim Stockdale will help you to expect miracles in the midst of long term 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.