In Biblical times, the pool of Bethesda was known for it’s healing powers. It was told that the first person to get into this pool after it had stirred would be healed of their disease. There was an invalid that lay beside this pool for thirty-eight years waiting to be healed. One day Jesus approached him and here is what happened:
“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?” – John 5:6, NIV
The invalid sat beside this pool for thirty-eight years hoping to be healed and Jesus has the nerve to ask him if he wanted to get well! What is going on? Obviously this guy wants to be healed. The most interesting part to this story is that Jesus doesn’t ask this man what is wrong with him or how He can help him. I believe these two questions are not asked because those are easy questions. Asking the man if he wants to get well is more of a heart issue.
I started thinking about this story as it relates to my own story. I have not been an invalid but I have struggled with a stronghold, a porn addiction, for fourteen years. I have gone from staying clean for days to falling several times a day. I go back and forth and it drives me crazy. Why can’t I pull it together? One night as I was so frustrated with myself because of my failure the question came to my mind, do I want to get well? “Of course!” I thought to myself. But then as soon as I started really looking at my intentions and where my heart was I realized that my answer was not what I was saying.
As much as I hated my sin, it brought me comfort and I was not willing to let that go. Part of me wanted to get well but the other part of me wanted to hold on to my problem so that when I needed comfort or a distraction, it would be there. I felt this inner battle raging inside of me as I wrestled between what I wanted my answer to be and what it really was. I found myself angry with God for not letting me have the answer I wanted.
I had some conversations with friends about this question and they would ask me what my answer was and I had to be honest with them and it was hard. I kept saying that I wasn’t ready yet and that I hadn’t hit rock bottom enough to experience this need to get well. How sad is that? It was the truth though.
A couple of weeks later, I experienced a nightmare that involved my addiction and a few people I knew and it rocked me to my core. I was talking to my friend about it and the first words out of his mouth were, “Do you want to get well now?” My immediate response was a yes and that truly was what my heart desired. I had finally reached the point in my journey where I was ready to move on and truly say that I wanted to get well.
It has been a few months since this has happened and I wish I could say that I have been clean ever since but that is not the truth. But, I can say that my journey’s path has taken a different turn. When I am in the midst of my addiction, I do not find pleasure at all and the desire is lessening. I really do want to get well and I know that Jesus is right here helping me keep that answer at a yes.
So, where are you? Are you ready for your answer to be yes? If so, great! If not, don’t lose heart. You will get there and it is important to be honest with how you truly feel right here, right now. My prayer is that you will not have to experience a rock bottom before your answer is yes. Do not lose hope, God is with you every step of this journey and when you are ready