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“Do you want to get well?” Jesus asked the ill man at the pool of Bethesda. (John 5:6)

When I was little, I thought this was a silly question. Why WOULDN’T the ill man want to get better? Over the years, though, I’ve learned more about human nature and why Jesus’ question is so important.

Some people sincerely don’t want to get well. It’s easier for people to live in their sick, diseased state of being (such as addiction, bad lifestyles, etc.) than to get better. If they’re diseased, they can continue to live out their disease. Getting better means they have to be a new person, and that can be an uncomfortable process and force them to come face-to-face with who they are.

Sometimes I feel like I’m walking down a path. That path leads through dark valleys. Sometimes it leads through joy and laughter. Always, I feel like I am walking through a storm. There are the pull of the world’s currents and way of living. There is the pull of friends and people I let into my life. There is the daily struggle with my depression. There is the healing from my emotionally broken state. There is the everyday struggle of work, projects, paperwork, and keeping my chin up and hope in my heart.

This valley is dark, and I’m often exhausted and despairing, but then God brings good things into my life (and I seek out good things), and I am blessed. I walk with Him daily. I talk to Him, cry out to Him, tell Him about my worries, fears, hopes, and dreams. I read His Word. I fill myself with church time, worship, and seeking out godly people to surround myself with. I am not perfect, but I strive to walk in honesty, purity, love, perseverance, and joy. I strive to walk the narrow path. I strive to walk in light, Jesus leading my life.

I feel there are people who come into my life, but are only meant to stay for a short season. These are the unhealthy people. They struggle with self-image. They struggle with addictions. They struggle with living in the world and being a part of it (instead of living in it, but not being a part of it, as we are called to be as Christians). They continually choose the dark paths, the broken paths, and the evil paths that are broad and easy and lead to death.

To people like those, I feel God brought me into their lives for a reason, and guided me safely out of their lives again. I learned more about the broken state of the world, and (prayerfully) how to reach people going through things like they went through. I was the salt. I was the light. I was the love. I was God’s hands and feet. And then, God wrapped His protecting arms around me and carried me to safety. Those people are not in my life anymore, and I will not let them in again.

I’ve learned something about these unhealthy people though: sometimes they sincerely do not want to get well. Getting well means they would have to live as a new person. Getting well means they have to give up their addictions that are so pleasurable. Getting well means they’ll need to hold to a higher standard of living–God’s standard that brings life. Getting well means they’ll have to examine themselves in the mirror of God’s Word and then DO something about what they see. Getting well means accountability. Getting well means living truthfully. Getting well means giving up their pride, arrogance, control, and manipulation. Getting well means they’ll have to hold themselves responsible for their actions. Getting well means they have to come out of the darkness and into the light.

And there are very, very few people who want all that. I’ve seen some who sincerely wanted to get well, and got well, to a certain extent. And I’ve seen others who chose to live in the world’s ways and chase after the wind. These latter people, I had to let go. I am not in charge of helping them. God is in charge of their lives, and He’ll deal with them. I believe I did what God called me to do, and now I am to move on with my life. Those people did not want to get well, and that was their choice. Yes, they were spiritually sick, and they knew it. But they had no real desire to get better.

Jesus always gets to the heart. “Do YOU want to get better?”

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