WILL YOU BE MADE WHOLE?
by Babangida Joseph
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“When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been now a long time in that condition, he said unto him, will you be made whole? The invalid man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
John 5:6, 7
Right from the time of early Christianity, there have been different approaches on how the Christian faith should be lived. With the passage of time came different doctrines, beliefs and teachings. Some of these teachings actually confuse us. For instance, there’s a school of thought that believes God is too good to let any of His creatures to rot in hell. Another school of thought holds the view that salvation is not by grace alone. It says we have to work to earn our salvation. Yet another school of thought is of the opinion that once you get saved, all sufferings dissipates into thin air for good, and you find yourself in a merry – go – round situation constantly swirling around, laughing and just being happy. That really would have been wonderful. But Jesus never taught that. He told His disciples, “In this world, you will have trouble” (John 16:33).
I am not an authority on the bible. I do not have any degree in theology, but from my little knowledge and experience about the Christian faith, I can say without any fear of contradiction from any professor of theology, no Christian is exempted from trouble.
From the above text, we see Jesus asking a man a question we’ll do well to answer. “Will you be made whole?” One would have thought this question very ridiculous. This was a man who was an invalid for 38 years. Surely he wouldn’t want anything this bad. Just imagine him sitting on the same spot for 38 years. All the babies that were born in his presence, became toddlers, walked past him every morning on their way to school, all matured and became teenagers. Perhaps some of the girls he used to know fooled around and had babies of their own out of wedlock. May be they passed him on the same spot carrying their babies on their backs, yet he was still stagnated, glued to one spot not making any progress just “waiting for the moving of the waters” (John 5:3). A lot of the invalid folks he fellowshipped with got healed and moved on with their lives but not he. Thirty and eight years. Such a long time of inertia!
Will you be made whole? None of us is complete. There are certain areas in our lives though deeply concealed with a thin veneer of Christianity, that we secretly desired God to touch us and make us whole. We have actually become experts at trying to hide our problems; we don’t want the Lord to know exactly what’s wrong with us. If truly we are going to be made whole, we must be open enough to desire to be made whole. We must stop pretending and allow the One who alone can make us complete touch us. This man was so used to one method – the troubling of the water – that he didn’t give Jesus a chance to minister to him.
It was the custom at that time that at a certain season an angel of the Lord troubles the pool Bethesda. Anyone who is first to jump in was made whole of whatever disease he had. However, no one knows at what time the angel comes to move the water. But here is the Lord of the season whereby “all things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made” (John1:3). He made everything including the seasons. He is the Lord of the season. Unfortunately, this man had more respect for the angel of the Lord than on the Lord of the angel. Is that not what we see in our churches today? Men of God are honored more than the God of the men. Pastors and ministers of the gospel should be careful that they do not share God’s glory with Him.
Let’s not be like this man. So used to the tradition of the angel troubling the water that when Christ asked if he desired to be made whole, he started recounting a tale of woe that wouldn’t change his situation one bit.
Often, we grieve the heart of God. He’s so much in love with us He wants to do everything to make us fulfilled in life. God is asking, “do you want to be made whole?” Instead of answering in the affirmative, we respond like this man: “Sir I have no man….” And that’s the real tragedy. Relying on men for only what God can do. Do you want to be whole in your academics, in your ministry, in your business, in your marriage, in your career? Sir, I have no man to stand in for me that’s why I didn’t get the admission. I have no man that’s why the promotion was denied me. I have no man to counsel me that’s why I married him. I have no man to sponsor my vision so I let it die. Sir, I have no man… the excuses are inexhaustible. All this while God is saying “what about Me?”
Don’t get me wrong. God uses men to advance us in life. It’s undeniable. But we have grown so accustomed to the notion that unless you know someone, you won’t get anything that we have neglected God. We pushed Him aside and left Him with no option other than to just sit and watch us crawling through life when in actual fact He desires to give us wings to fly on winds like the eagles.
Have you not grown tired of being in one room apartment for 38 years? Are you not sick of the constant bickering between you and your spouse? Have you not stayed on that level for too long? Have you not depended on that sugar daddy or sugar mummy for sustenance long enough? Why tarry this long in “Egypt” when God wants to take you to a prosperous land flowing with milk and honey? Have you not exhausted your resources visiting prayer houses because of that ailment when the Balm of Gilead is ever ready to make you whole?
My dear brothers and sisters, what is stopping you from reaching out to God in order to be made whole? Discover it, move it out of your way, and let God change and make you whole. When Zacchaeus discovered what was hindering him from being whole – money gained dishonestly – he gave that out and was made whole. Ruth, the Moabitess, gave up her country, her custom, her people and her idols just so she could be made whole. The woman with the issue of blood disregarded the fact that the law forbade her from mingling with the crowd, crept up to Jesus to touch Him, and was made whole. Blind Bartimaeus put aside his begging bowl and stick just to be where Jesus was, and received his sight. The prophet Jonah, down in the belly of a whale cried out to the Lord for mercy and was brought back to the world of the living to fulfill his purpose. Jacob had to wrestle with God to know who he really is. What are you waiting for? God wants to make you whole. Are you willing to let Him? He will, if you will.
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Yes,may we be made whole as we know the Lord and His way moreThanks for your comment on my article'where do you belong?'Your observations are noted.The room for improvement is the biggest in the world.To learn is to be alive.
One thing I've learned to do and have suggested to other writers is; read this out loud to yourself or another and see if YOU like the way it sounds. Better yet is to find someone who will read this to you and let you hear how it not just sounds, but if you do this, pay attention to the difficulty they have reading it out loud. Some simple hints to improve as a writer will emerge when once you hear someone struggling to read what you've written. Sad to say, I've been on this site for a few years now and I've seen that most don't want to be better writers, they just want to be louder. My hope is that you want to write and not just talk and I got the sense that you really like writing. Hone your craft or as I often say "Sharpen your arrow, because a sharp arrow flies truer and further." Keep writing!