“I have to say, I really enjoy not feeling well” said no one ever. Anyone (which is everyone in this case) that is or has struggled with some of kind of physical/ mental illness or a general hardship/ issue wants things to get better. We want to be free of pain, discomfort and feelings of weakness at whatever cost. We seek out remedies that can make the symptoms go away. However, symptoms are simply an indicator of a deeper issue. In recent months I have experienced a lot of disrupted sleep, brought on by a barking dog, snoring husband or sick children. My immediate reaction is to ask God for those things to stop because I “need” my sleep. I don’t want to have to operate in my human lack during the day because it seems too difficult. In order to address and actually alleviate the symptom of being tired however, it is imperative to define the root issue.
In the book of John chapter 5 there is a story of a man who had been ill for almost 40 years. Every day he sat by the pool that was supposed to be the source of healing for his illness and yet every day he was unable to access that healing due to his inability to get himself down into the pool when the water was stirred. (Side note: In resources about this story it describes that it is likely that this man had people in his life that were willing to carry him down to the pool and back home every single day but not stay with him long enough for him to get in. This will likely be explored on another day though.) Jesus asks him the seemingly unnecessary question, “Do you want to get well?” But instead of answering with a resounding “Yes” the man assigns blame to others as the reason he cannot get well. After Jesus heals the man’s physical infirmities however Jesus circles back around to him to address the deeper issue that was being ignored, the healing of his spirit. Jesus encouraged him to “stop sinning”. So while we know that the man got up from his state of physical impairment it is not clear whether he chose to encounter spiritual healing.
It is convenient and comfortable for the symptoms of our hurt to be alleviated but it is costly if the root is not weeded out. True healing requires the whole truth. I cannot expect to be freed in my spirit just because I have decreased or eliminated the associated symptoms. In my case, consistent “good” nights of sleep are likely not the priority for God’s purposes in my life. A temporary solution cannot fix an eternal issue. If you want to experience the true freedom that comes with healing being honest with God and asking for revelation about what lies beneath is non-negotiable part of the process. Do I believe that God can still use me despite my tired state? Am I willing to sit in the discomfort for Him to be able to fill in the gaps of my deficiencies? God does not want us to be healed to return once more to be a victim of our symptoms but rather be wholly healed from the source. So what is it that you are asking for healing from today? Anxiety? Physical ailments? Debt? Broken relationships? Is there a deeper spiritual truth that God wants to reveal to you so that you may be wholly healed? God desires us to know this truth and for the Truth to set us free.
Authored by Katie Rivera of The Baton Pass