Originally published Tuesday, 03 September 2013.
I believe God is serious when he asks you and I the question, "Do you want to get well?"
In John 5, we read the story of an invalid who had been seriously crippled for many, many, many, many years. In other words--a long time! The story goes,
"Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gatea pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 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?' '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.' Then Jesus said to him, 'Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.' At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked (John 5:1-9, NIV).
I wonder how long you have been suffering and struggling to get into a place of healing? Every time you come close like the invalid in John 5--something or someone sabotages your chances to receive God's healing. Maybe it's a co-worker. Maybe it's your bank account (or lack thereof). Maybe it's a family member. Or maybe it's your own excuses (ouch!).
But I have to wonder if un-forgiveness is one of the things stopping you from walking in healing.
David, a man familiar with suffering, pain, forgiveness, and repentance wrote,
“Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.’ And you forgave the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 32:1-5, NIV).
My story is similar. When I kept silent my skin (not bones) wasted away. Literally. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting in the hospital bed at San Diego Children’s Hospital with no skin on my face and feet. All because I had cried over a boy. I couldn’t let go. I couldn’t forgive him for leading me on. I wanted nothing more than to feel loved again. I went three whole days before my mom could get me to stop crying. At that point my body broke down. The rash that had started on my toe spread across the tops of my feet and then to my face when I rubbed the tears off my face.
I share how miserable I was because I know that I’m not the only one who struggles with unforgiveness.
I share my story in my new book, Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me because I had never experienced God’s in such a powerful way, that was what caused me to finally believe. Guess what? This past week, I visited Family Christian Stores and found they will be placing Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me in the Wellness section. At first, I thought it would be in the Christian Living section. Nope! Next I thought it would be in Women's Interest section. Wrong again. When I found out FCS is placing my book in the Wellness section I had to catch my breath.
“Forgiveness doesn’t just affect relationships, but the body, soul, mind, and strength. It took my body ten years to heal from that health crash. I don’t know why God didn’t step in and heal me. But because God allowed my rash to spread I have an even bigger story to tell--one that doesn’t just end with forgiveness but restoration.” (Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me, 115)?
Today, choose to let go of your unforgiveness and watch God heal you of your past hurts, present circumstances, and future fears.
Do you want to get well? Say it with me, "YES!" [Photo: ergobachmann, Flickr]