Last week after getting my wisdom teeth removed, plus one added bonus, making it a total of five teeth, I got a little frantic as suddenly I felt one of my stitches loosening up. It had only been five days since my surgery, and I had been told and read that most stitches last at least seven to ten days. Hence my anxiety. Much like this paragraph might be TMI for you, I then proceeded to call my doctor and explain in full detail what was going on in my mouth. I know y’all, it’s disturbing. I do apologize. But it could be so much worse. Relief flooded me when the nurse told me that was very normal and I was okay. Oh, and while I was at it, to eat something more than just Slim Fast. Not only was I relieved, but also I was ecstatic, because well, food. Need I say more? I was starving for something solid.
Ironically, the next morning I had a different doctors appointment where I proceeded to spill my guts and ask every question in the book about all sorts of things. I left that appointment with answers and feeling very secure for the path that lay ahead of me.
I also felt very humbled.
Other than a counselor, and maybe your spouse, who else do you feel complete freedom with to ask some of the most bizarre questions, and not only that, but share what others would label as WAY to much information, besides a doctor?
But the truth is, if you really want to get well, or fix something that is broken, you have to be 100% transparent with your doctor and do everything they tell you to get well. And last I checked, I think we’re all into the getting well business. Who likes to be sick, broken and messed up? It’s no way to live abundantly.
You see, I would be what you might consider the perfect patient.
Anyone, eh hem, my mother and best friend, could testify to this.
For instance, as I mentioned, I had my wisdom teeth removed. Upon leaving the doctors office after your surgery, they give you a sheet of paper along with your prescription medications explaining the step-by-step process on how to heal the quickest and easiest. The minute I was out of my coma to a place I could actually comprehend what I was reading, I poured over that sheet front and back, word for word.
Not only did I nearly memorize every word, I also did what it said. It was, in fact, the only way to get well.
When I got off the phone with the doctor the other day I kind of chuckled to myself as I thought about all doctors and nurses have to go through. They see the good, the bad and the very, very ugly. I realize I’m no nurse, but I happen to have a nurse as a roommate, and let me tell you, she and I lead very different day jobs.
Because my mind never sits in one place, I immediately thought of how this affects our relationship with God. The degree to which we’ll be honest with Him about our deep messes, our brokenness and intense struggles (as if He isn’t already intimately acquainted with every detail), is the degree to which we’ll be healed.
And the degree to which we’ll do what He tells us to do to trash the trash in our lives, also holds some weight. Sometimes we know exactly what to do to get well, but we’re just stubborn enough not to do it. Yet, He says He’s given us everything we need for life and godliness. Not that we would get caught up in just following the rules, but that we would get caught up in the grace offered to us.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” 2 Peter 1:3-4
Mercy, what messes we are all in. Not one of us is immune and not one of us is perfect. This is both good news and bad news! Because none of us is immune to any pit of sin means we need Jesus in the worst way, but because none of us will attain perfection here on earth means we can cut one another a little slack. It also means for those of us perfectionists, to take a chill pill. Or, for those of us holding someone to a perfect standard, to take them off the high horse we’ve put them on.
I’m far from being any type of scholar, but naturally I thought of the healing at the pool that Jesus performed.
“After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.” John 5:1-9 (ESV)
I’m not going to pretend I know all the history of all that went on here, but can we all agree that thirty-eight years is a long time? I realize that some of us are bound up for much longer than that, but isn’t it exhausting?
I may have grown up in church, but I can assure you I didn’t even begin to think about grabbing onto some healing until I was 18 and a senior in high school. And it wasn’t for the lack of people encouraging me, pointing me towards truth and loving on me. It was because of my own pride, and the fact that I liked my sin. It felt good. I can’t imagine an invalid feeling good, but I can imagine getting too lazy in our sin that we never want to get up and move on, because if any of us have tried, we can testify that it is h-a-r-d.
Notice that after Jesus asked him if he wanted healing, he didn’t even say yes! He gave an excuse as to why he was still laying there.
Is that not so true of us? We can think of every excuse in the book as to why our healing has yet to come to us. As to why we’re still drowning in sin. Or why that stronghold still holds all the power in the world over us.
“I have no one to help me…” who are we waiting for? Who are you waiting for? What is that one thing you think can heal you? Sister, stop waiting. His name is Jesus.
That brokenness, that shame, that addiction, the mindset, that sin cycle, that stronghold, that lie, that greed, that lust, that past, that hate. He came for that. Our excuses, though they may seem legitimate at the time, are illegitimate.
“Get up, take up your bed and walk!” Today is the day.
If it seems impossible, it might be, but the Lord knows your fears. Knows how painful it might be. But He’s still telling you to get up and walk! Walk free! Walk confidently! Maybe it’s time to stop asking God for some healing and believe He’s granted us the freedom. The freedom He gave us on the cross.
Or maybe you have yet to even ask the Lord for some freedom, but you’re dying for some! Today is the day to ask! Tell Him every single detail. What may seem insignificant to you, is not to Him.
Some of us need to let God simply demonstrate His power through us.
He is trustworthy. He cares. He sees. He loves.
And ultimately, He heals.
Walk on, Sister.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2 (ESV)