If you’ve been on this planet for any measurable amount of time, you’ve been hurt. You’ve been beat up emotionally by people who love you, by people who despise you, and by all the people whose affections lie somewhere in between. People have harmed your psyche deliberately and unknowingly. There is no escaping messy relationships. I imagine that even if you holed up on an island all alone, eventually, your feelings would be hurt by birds that ignored you and volleyballs named Wilson.
These hurts pile up until we are so weighed down that we can’t seem to do anything without our baggage making itself known. In response, some of us quit. We quit relationships and activities because we just know our baggage will ruin them. So why bother? Some of us try to ignore. We press on in life, pretending that we don’t have the baggage we know we do. We act like we are fine, and it’s everybody else who has problems. But when we finally admit that quitting and ignoring don’t help (in fact, they amplify the pain), we reach our last resort… We seek healing.
We seek healing in food. And in people. And in success. And in a million other places.
Turns out, though, we don’t get healing from those things. We get distraction. We get temporary pacification. We get physical and emotional pleasure. But we don’t get healing.
Our baggage needs more than chocolate, a significant other, or a promotion at work.
Our baggage needs Christ.
Some of you are done reading this. But hear me out.
In John 5 Jesus bumps into a man who had been an invalid for 38 years. Verse 6 says, “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?'”
I find it interesting that Jesus did not assume this man wanted to get well. Apparently, some of us are not discontent enough with our wounds to truly desire healing. And, at least in this case, Jesus wasn’t going to force healing on him.
We get a choice.
Do we want healing or not?
The invalid did. His response to Jesus was, “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.”
The invalid wanted healing. He pursued healing. He put himself in the place where healing was likely to occur (by the water). He tried to heal himself (by trying to get in the pool under his own power), but when that didn’t work, he acknowledged he needed help.
And you know what Christ did? He healed the invalid. John 5:9 says, “At once the man was cured.”
So, do you want to be healed? Are you pursuing it? Are you in the right place? Are you acknowledging that YOU CAN’T HEAL YOURSELF? Are you asking Christ to do it? Are you believing He can and will heal you from whatever colorful baggage you have?
It was possible for the invalid.
And it’s possible for you and me.