Terry Casales - May 23rd, 2021
When you have suffered with an infirmity for years, it is all too easy to feel hopeless and helpless because all you have seen is the deterioration and the pain of it, not just in your body and in your mind, but in the quality of every area of your life. You do the best you can daily to cope and to keep living, in survival mode, but it looks like the struggle just seems to keep getting heavier and heavier. Your vision about the future becomes very clouded and filled with dread. In your mind, you’re at the point of just existing, exhausted and praying you make it through another day.
The dreams you had when you were younger are all but gone and unfulfilled, and you are left feeling discarded like an old shoe — you have been reduced to being a beggar, invisible to the world around you.
You have cried out to God so many times, “Do You see me? Do you love me at all? Do You even care that I am crippled? Do You even want to heal me?” It is easy to feel so small, insignificant, abandoned and rejected in a cruel world that only looks out for itself, more often than not, at your expense.
You cannot help but tend to look at and reflect on your past more than your way ahead because, based on where you have been and where you are, the only thing you are able to see is things getting progressively worse and more desperate as time goes on.
Your mind continually plays that movie strip of the past, evaluating and judging what you did and what you could have done differently to avoid the current state that you find yourself in. This happens all the while you see everyone’s highlight reel around you and wonder what you did that made you become so unwanted and unloveable.
It is like the disappointments and failures of life have crippled you. And, somehow you feel, even in this state, you are hanging on to that little shred of hope that one day this nightmare you have been living in will be over and you will wake up healed and restored.
This takes me to the story of the man at the pool of Bethesda. It is easy to imagine this man had a similar experience. But then one day, the King of kings, the Messiah, the Son of God showed up.
Jesus saw this man’s heart and understood that hope deferred was what kept this man crippled by the enemy for 38 years. The man allowed his physical, crippled state to define his identity. What he did not realize was that his defeated mindset was the very thing that crippled him and kept him in the prison of his mind which ended up producing a self-fulling prophecy in his life. We can imagine that he held roots of bitterness, anger and un-forgiveness in his heart from events that happened to him a long time ago.
It is not that the man did not desire to be healed, he just did not believe that it would ever happen or that it was even possible anymore. He felt so abandoned, unloved, rejected and alone and every day was a constant reminder of his failed life. No doubt he felt no one cared because no one had ever approached him to help him to the pool. He no longer felt like he had any strength left to even try to get to the pool on his own. He figured “why bother?” because there was always going to be someone else who would beat him to the punch. This man did not know the Healer. He had not personally experienced the love and the goodness of God prior to this event. He could have never imagined that the Healer Himself, the Messiah, would pay him a personal visit.
The man carried so much unbelief in his heart that when Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be healed?” his automatic response was to complain about how no one would bother to help him down to the water when it was stirred by the angel. All he perceived and experienced was a world where it was “every man for himself.” The man’s grief and deep disappointment with people, with himself and with God would not allow him to see past his circumstances to be able to see and to recognize Who was standing right in front of him in that moment.
6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well? 7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. - John 5:6-9
Jesus’ heart was moved with compassion and love toward this man, even in his weak state, to heal him. This is the God that we serve. He will always meet us where we are, at our weakest, to minister to our heart and to heal us. Jesus, like His Father, cared about the heart state of this man. God saw this man and what he endured year after year. Beloved, remember that it only took one encounter with the love of Jesus for healing to be made manifest in his soul and body.
It is the will of God to heal and to restore us. God is the God of restoration. His love is what led Jesus to come down to earth to become a living sacrifice for us so that we could be completely healed and restored back to relationship with God the Father and be adopted back into His Family.
The love of God knows no limits.
I believe that healing follows forgiveness. Healing must first begin in the soul before it manifests in the heart of man. Even though Jesus healed the man, I feel like He warned him that if he does not repent of his old mindset, return to God, and live by faith that something worse would happen to him.
14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” - John 5:14
When we do not agree with what God says about us in His Word we open the door and give legal access to the enemy to come into our lives to kill, steal and destroy. We are not able to heal and restore ourselves. Only God is able to heal our souls and our bodies if we present ourselves as living sacrifices before Him so that He can open up the wounds, pull out the bitter roots in our souls and burn them up with His refiner’s fire and wash them away with His blood.
It is not God’s will for any of us to remain broken, crippled vessels, enslaved by our circumstances. He loves us too much and is too invested in us to leave us where we are. God wants us all healed, made whole and completely restored so that we can walk with clean hands and pure hearts and manifest His Kingdom on earth operating out of the power of His love, fulfilling our Kingdom assignment. God's deepest desire is for us to walk in intimate relationship with Him, encountering and sharing His love as His sons and daughters for eternity on earth and in Heaven.
Beloved, once you receive the revelation into your heart of who you really are in Christ and encounter the power of His love, everything changes!