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 a long time he asked him, "Do you want to get well?" John 5:5-6
That seems to be such a ridiculous question to ask an invalid. Imagine, for thirty-eight years this man had not been able to do the normal things that other people can do. He is attached to his bed all the time. What's more, Jesus knew that he has been suffering for a long time. Isn't it obvious enough that this man will want to be well?
The reason for Jesus' question is to see how desperate the man is for healing. Thirty-eight years is so long, long enough for him to be accustomed to his condition. Has the man given up hope and resorts to spending the rest of his life as an invalid? Or does he want to experience a miracle?
Often this is the same question God is asking us. We may not be crippled physically, but emotionally. Being an emotional cripple means that we are not able to function like people with healthy emotions do. We are afraid of intimacy and close friendships. We isolate ourselves for fear of rejection. We build walls to protect ourselves, but at the same time locking out people who genuinely care. We are unable to give and receive love.
Many of us have decided to 'live on' with the pain. We have got so used to it. We've learnt to cope with a tough and painful life on survival mode. For some we choose not to expect too much so that we will not to be disappointed. For others we choose to expect disappointments.
But the truth is, it does not matter how long you have been struggling, or how bad your circumstances are, because that does not disqualify you from receiving total wholeness. Delay does not mean denial.
For some people, or pain becomes our shame, just like in Mephibosheth's story. King David had purposely asked if there is anyone left in the house of Saul for David to show mercy, and the only one left was Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth was a cripple since young when his nurse fell while carrying him. The reason of his condition was not his fault, but look at his response.
Mephibosheth bowed down and said, "What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?" 2 Samuel 9:8
To describe someone as a 'dog' in the older days is most despicable. But Mephibosheth called himself a 'dead dog'. His self-esteem was at the lowest point simply because he was suffering from something which was not his fault. But David did not look at him as a cripple, but as someone worthy to be given mercy. David invited him to eat at his table and live with him!
You may have despised yourself for not being able to function as well as other people. The circumstances that has happened to you because of other people's mistakes does not make you less significant than others in God's eyes.
Even though people may despise you because of your infirmities, God loves you more than ever. All you need to do is to accept God's invitation to dine and live with him.
The same question that Jesus had asked the invalid is extended to you now. Do you want to get well? Remember, God can do exceedingly above all that you can ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). He can heal you just as He healed the cripple. Just reach out and receive it.