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A Place of Healing

Do you want to get well?Can you imagine waiting 38 years to be healed?

The story of the Healing at the Pool in John 5 is a powerful story. It takes me back to the beginning of my healing journey. I remember reading in church about Jesus noticing and approaching the man who had suffered for 38 years.

My heart was pounding. At the time, I was thirty-eight years old.

Then, verse 6 jumped off of the page at me when Jesus asked him: “Do you want to get well?”
Those six words changed everything, and Jesus had my full attention. I didn’t know how to get well but I wanted to try. I just needed to trust Him to show me.

Recently, I read John 5 in the VOICE, and once again verse 6 stood out to me.
Jesus (to the disabled man):  Are you here in this place hoping to be healed?  John 5:6 (VOICE) 
This place {my Bethesda} was church.  I grew up in church.  I knew that Jesus was the pool of living water that would change and transform any life, but I had no idea how to take my shame to Him. I didn’t even think it was possible.
We didn’t talk about things like that in church.  
So I sat on my mat. And I tried so hard to be a good girl.  I could look around and find reasons to count my blessings. Some had physical hurts, and others visible hurts where their brokenness was exposed. My hurts were all hidden, so I tried to smile politely through my secret pain. I thought maybe I am the only one?
Sometimes, I would look around and see others who seemed to be so in love with Jesus. There was a fire in them that flickered bright and seemed genuine, but I knew what I was hiding so I wasn’t even sure what was real.
My mat was all I knew, so in some ways it was comfortable, even though I knew the source of living water – the man who died for all of it – Jesus, was right there. “How do I get to Him?” I thought, “Maybe this is as good as it gets for me. Maybe I should just figure out how to be happy on this mat. It could be worse. It could always be worse.”
But God used those six words to change everything:  “Do you want to be healed?”
Do you want to be healed?
I could have easily responded with excuses and what ifs just like the man did in verse 7, and truthfully I did. I am terrified. I am embarrassed. I am ashamed.
But Jesus had only one response in verse 8:  “Stand up! Carry your mat and walk.”
I had no idea what that meant, but I knew that I wanted to get well.  I was tired and I was hurting.  I had to get off of the mat!  I needed to step out, and take a step into the light. I took His hand, and at the time I didn’t even have words for what I needed.
But He knew.
Those first few steps would lead to many small steps (and some big steps) out of the darkness and shame of childhood sexual abuse and into His marvelous light of truth and healing.
At the beginning of John 5 in the Voice version, my eyes filled with tears as I read:

Jesus takes His disciples into one of the most miserable places they have ever seen. The suffering and impurity is frightening, but He comes to serve these precious people.

The devastation of sexual abuse is a miserable place, and the suffering and impurity is frightening – even to the church and especially to the church.
BUT God.
“He comes to serve these precious people.”
He came for me.  He comes for you.
I am precious.  You are precious – no matter how miserable the mat seems.
What is your mat? How long have you been waiting to be healed?
There is a way to get to that marvelous light – the true living water.  His name is Jesus and He will give you the words, and show you the way.  Look around you – What is your place?  Is it church, work, a circle of friends, or an online community of bloggers who get it?
Do you hear Him whispering, “Are you here in this place hoping to be healed? Do you want to get well?”
How will you respond?
Look around you. Others are stuck on their mat without hope.  Will you shine His light – even when the suffering and impurity is frightening?  Will you point those who have been deeply harmed by sexual abuse to Him? Will you help them find the words?  Will you help them get to that living water and find healing?  Will you respond like Jesus in Verse 17: “My Father is at work, so I too am working.”
Speak up. Say the words. Shine His Light.
They are precious and they are waiting.

Linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee

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  1. You are not alone, dear Michelle. We are on this journey of healing together. I love the comforting truth that Jesus seeks out the suffering, because we are so precious to Him – “The suffering and impurity is frightening, but He comes to serve these precious people.” Thank you for sharing your story and making hurting souls feel less alone. Blessings and hugs to you!

  2. Oh, Michelle, I’m overcome with emotion. This was so beautifully tender. God is so present in this writing – His grace and love all over it. I wish I could reach through this screen and give you a great big hug. I am believing this will touch many hearts and lead to healing in so many others.
    Blessings and hugs,

  3. Thanks Michelle. I’m dealing with similar struggles. Please pray I’ll just be able to be held by Him. It’s so hard for me when I feel like I haven’t lived up to someone’s expectations of me. I need to be reminded that I am rooted in His love. God bless. Hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas!

    1. Liz,
      Praying for you to just be held by Him, and that you will cling to the hope, comfort, and peace that only He can bring in those moments! Hold on to the truth that you are loved, adored, treasured and precious in His sight! He delights in you, friend. Blessings to you and have a wonderful Christmas as well!

  4. Michelle, this is so powerful. Thank you for your transparency. I have been there too, in that place of wanting to be healed but not sure how that would look. Sometimes it starts by simply saying the words. I love this. Thank you, friend.

  5. This is written with a beautiful perspective, we all have a mat of some sort and He is just waiting to be asked. Thank you for sharing your heart. I will take away the visual you described here. Blessings!

  6. Hi Michelle, do you know sometimes I wonder why the question, “Do you want to get well?” As if He sensed a distraction here and draws our attention to focus on Him.
    I appreciate this!
    Hugs and Blessings to you

  7. Such deep truth and blessing in this! His Healing! YES!!! Thank you for taking the step of trust in Him to move forward with sharing your story…your healing…your gifts & blessing to others. I am touched by your authentic writing my friend 🙂

  8. Hi Michelle, I just discovered your blog through Tell His Story. I particularly love this post. I was also sexually abused as a child and prompted to speak out about it for the first time by a display with questions Jesus asked, including the one from this passage: “Do you want to be healed?”
    Thank you for your courage in sharing your story. I think it is so important that we speak out about these things because there are so many people suffering in silence. Blessings to you!

    1. Carly, Thank you so much for being here. I am so sorry that you were sexually abused as a child. It breaks my heart to hear that, but I am so thankful that His word is alive and brings us healing! Thank you for your courage to speak out, also. I look forward to reading your posts! I am glad we can connect and encourage each other to keep being brave!

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