Daily Devotion, 02/01/18, John 5:1-9 “What It Is and What It Can Be”
“When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’” John 5:6 NIV
Jesus sometimes asked a question, like this one, that seemed to have an obvious answer. Jesus asked this man who had been an invalid for 38 years, “Do you want to get well?” Of course he wanted to get well, or so you would think. The reality is that sometimes some people don’t. Their identities have been forged by their infirmities. What they lack has become who they are. They know no other way. They have long since lost hope that life will get better on this side of heaven’s door. It’s not good but it is what it is in their minds.
The “It is what it is” mindset shows up in various ways. By the way, I don’t think Christ-followers should ever have an “It is what it is” perspective because the statement itself reflects a lack of a faith in our creative God who can do the impossible and make all things new. Maybe I’ll write more on that another day…back to today’s devotion...You help people out of circumstances you’re certain they want out of only to see them go back. They go back to the drugs, back to the alcohol, back to the abusive spouse, back to whatever unhealthy place they’ve been in. As difficult as all those realities are, sustained change is often even more difficult. Sustained change requires one to leave behind their identity as an addict, a victim, a hopeless case and so on. It requires one to be willing to take responsibility for their life and to walk with God as He gives them a new life. It’s much easier to say, “I can’t,” than to say, “With God’s help, I will.” So the man Jesus talked to had to make a choice. Does he get up and start a new life that is totally unfamiliar to him or does he stick to what he knows. The answer is not as easy or as obvious as we might think.
Let me ask you, “Do you want to be well?” Jesus can heal you and He can restore you. He can help you walk away from the way of life that has become your life that is no life at all. Before He can do any of those things in you, He needs to know, “Do you want to be well?” Are you willing to stop blaming? Are you willing to stop playing the victim? Are you willing to put in the hard work of becoming who He created you to be? Are you willing to let go of what is familiar to take hold of something that is scary, unknown, and new? If you want to be well, Jesus can help you. He wants to see you walk in the freedom, joy and purpose He created you for. You just have to have the want to, the hope and the faith to get up and go with Him. You are loved!