Imagine sitting by the wayside and unable to see, probably for a great many years. Picture the conditioning, the 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…..’
Names in the Bible usually mean something significant. The meaning of Bartimaeus is ‘Son of Honour. 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?
Jesus ask the man at the pool of Bethesda ‘Wilt thou be made whole?’ He’d received such attention from others, it was stopping him from moving forwards.
‘Parts Therapy’ or ‘Internal Family Systems’ is a theory that some counsellors use to help their clients move forward from emotional blocks keeping them stuck.
The theory believes that we have numerous parts with us. Recognising them, their roles and agendas brings awareness to any internal part that is choosing to stay sick.
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.
I’ve been in church nearly my whole life. In the past 20 years of my (healing) journey, I have learned to make God’s house foundational, despite feelings and experiences.
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 trust 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.