That verse reads “Will you be made whole?”
my challenges this week is to read through the book of John and yes I was reading when this passage jumped out at me . in the context of this passage Jesus is in Bethsaida, the place for the sick amd desperate people gather . they gather to wait for miracle , and hope the angel visit in trouble, stirs the waters, brings them healing . instead of an angel it is Jesus who challenges this man. He has brought himself to this place for many years… there he lays, sick, weary, almost beyond hope when Jesus approaches. so the question resonates with me : do I want to be made whole ?
I have been thinking about this man with his predicament . His pattern of life must have been routine: get up, get breakfast, go to the pool , wait for miracle , get up and go home . the daily routine is predictable . Changes such as being healed from long term illness might be a major change in routine . when life is such an ingrained pattern change can be traumatic . how badly do you want to change ? how much do you want to see your life transform ? is the fear of breaking that routine something that holds you from looking for change ?
I can ask those questions and provide from my own life as well . fear of being healthy and fear of change have kept me gridlock for years . There is a familiarity with ingrained routines… patterns that are predictable. Change upsets this predictability. There is a lot of fear that comes with uncertainty and the unknown.
I have chosen in my life to put aside the fear and lean into the change . With my faith in God it seems that the fear of change is gone . I embrace the willingness to see how my life can be healed day by day . I don’t want to be that man that waited at the pool for 30 some years hopelessly waiting . Jesus calls…may we have hearts willing to respond and be healed. So he asks each of us today “Will you be made whole?”
I did more studying, because i wanted to know what the greek word for whole was, and how it fit this context. The greek word is Hugies (pronounced “hoo-gee-ace”) and means soundness – as in a person who is sound in their body. 2. To make one whole – as in resotre health. Strong defines it as healthy – well in body, truth in the doctrine, soundness, wholeness. This comes from the word auxano which means to cause to grow, to increase, become greater,and is spoken of plants, babies, and the inward Christian life.
Wow – do i want to be made whole? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. How can we go on with these lingering sicknesses that keep us back from being all we are created to be. I want to learn more, grow deeper, find my truth and shed the heavy and tattered garment of sickness, and less than wholeness.
If you know me you know i am visual… so as i think things through my mind begins to paint pictures. So here is mine… It is the olympic marathon stadium. Many runners are sleak, wearing athletic gear, freely moving about. And here am I, hunkered over with a heavy winter coat, large backpack, and almost unable to move at the weight of the situation. As i enter the stadium i realize how different life can be. I see many pass me up, running, unrestrained. Suddenly someone gestures to the backpack – Do you really need that? Why do you carry such a weight on your shoulders. It prevents you from being able to run? His hands gently help to take the backpack off my shoulders. It hits the ground with a mighty thud…. the weight removed i am able to stand up straight. Then he says to me “Do you really need that heavy winter coat? It is covering up all that you are… you cannot move freely with the restraint of this garment. He puts his hand out, offering to take the heavy winter coat… and more weight is gone… There is a new freedom to move, not feel so restrained… He then offers me the opportunity to walk… “Try your legs now… walk around… doesnt it feel good to not be burdened down?” Do you want to be made whole? healthy? free of encumberances? Do you want that backpack and heavy coat back? You have carried so many heavy burdens in that backpack, and you do not have to do that. Trust them to me… i will take better care of them. And your coat – Those excuses, and plans you have made to weave a barrier between yourself and being whole – do you ever want it back? No, a thousand times no… the new freedom tastes good. Although i am now feeling vulnerable because that heavy garment is gone, and i am exposed… i look around, and the other runners in the race are also exposed, vulnerable, trusting in this new wholeness. Am i willing to remain in this new place? Am i willing to never return to the heavy burdens, and garments I hide behind?
My prayer is that you will say with me… lets go… lets become whole, healthy, committed to grow, and challenged to help others shed their heavy burdens and garments of shelter for garments of praise.