“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” John 5:7
If only I could feel better about myself, I could recover.
If only I could get on a good diet, I could recover.
If only my family understood me, I could recover.
If my marriage were better, I could recover.
If only I had a therapist (dietician, psychiatrist), I could recover.
If only I could understand the pain from my past, I could recover.
If only Jesus would do_________________, I could recover.
What would you write in the blank? What are you asking God to do that He seems to NOT be doing? Many times in my own recovery, I wanted God to remove things I had set up as “barriers” to my healing. I wanted to have a better marriage, more confidence, “closure” from past pain. I would pray about these things… “God, I just can’t move! I am stuck…I am waiting for you to DO something in my marriage (etc.)”
I was like the man in today’s focus verse. I wanted Jesus to stir the water, put things in motion in my life, so that I could be healed. I wanted the circumstances around me to change, to be moved by God…if only they would, I could recover. This did not happen. My circumstances did not change (right away…some did eventually, but others never have.) I had a choice to make. Was I going to sit by the water and wait for someone to stir it? What is my other option? “I can’t MOVE!”—or so I thought.
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. John 5:8
Many times we come to Jesus asking for the solution we think we need. In this man’s case, he thought he needed someone to stir the water then move him to it. What he failed to realize that the solution was not going to be found in that water…it could only be found in the One who is the Living Water—Jesus.
We do not need to ask God to do this or that so we can heal…we need to ask Him to HEAL US!! Although I believe that God provides things like treatment and support teams, pastors, counselors, friends, to help us on our journey, ultimately, our healing and our hope is found only in Christ. Our answer is not in the things of this world; the things we have come to believe are going to change us into a person able to recover. We must choose to turn to Him and ask Him to “stir” within US and move us forward in recovery.
Breathing In (Bible Study)
- What circumstances do you feel you need to be able to recover? Ask God to reveal to you how He can overcome any circumstance and heal you regardless of them.
- Read the account of Naaman in 2 Kings 5.
- From what did Naaman want to be healed?
- What did he expect from Elisha? Why did he have this expectation?
- What does Naaman need to do? Why is he initially unwilling to do it? What changes his mind?
- Have you ever felt that you deserved something in your recovery? (Example: I deserve having more support so that I can recover. I deserve to have more treatment/better treatment.)
- Pray and ask God to show you what you NEED to do for your recovery (the next step). Ask Him to stir within you the Holy Spirit so that you might be willing to, like the man in John 5, “Get up and walk!” forward in your recovery.
Breathing Out (Prayer)
Father in Heaven,
Thank you for providing for us daily in our recovery. Thank you for the support of family, friends, therapists, and treatment teams. We are filled with gratitude for the blogs, devotions, social media supports that we receive. We know that these things are gifts from You. Help us to remember, though, that it is in your son Jesus that we are ultimately supported. It is in Christ alone that we are given the strength to get up and move in our recovery. Please send your Holy Spirit to stir within us, to move us closer to the Living Water that cleanses, heals, and restores us.
In His Name and In His Strength I pray, Amen
*Note: This is not intended to mean that our treatment teams etc. are not helpful. This is not a suggestion to walk away from the support/treatment that has been provided for us. Rather, it is an examination of the role these supports have in our recovery. Ultimately, we must take what support has been given us and GET UP and move through our recovery…in Christ’s strength, of course!