The Will to Get Well
"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 for a long time, he asked him, 'Do you want to get well?'"1
It may be hard to understand, but according to statistics that I have read from both a Christian and a secular standpoint, many people who have either a physical or emotional problem actually don't want to get well!
"That's absurd," I can almost hear some readers saying. "How could a sick person not want to get well?"
Of all those who go to see a physician or a counselor with a problem, approximately 25 percent don't want to get well. They want people's sympathy, they want to be taken care of, and some even want to die.
Another 50 percent want the counselor or doctor to fix or heal them. As one doctor said, "Half of my patients would rather I operate on their body than they operate on their lifestyle!"
And only one in four actually accepts responsibility for his/her well-being and does everything he/she can to follow the doctor or counselor's guidance. These are the ones who are committed to getting well. They are the ones who want to get well—and are most likely to do so!
Perhaps this is why Jesus said words like, "Do you want to get well?" "Do you want to be made whole?" "What do you want me to do for you?"
God will bend the heavens to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. That's why he sent Jesus to die for our sins. But he won't do anything for us that we can and need to do for ourselves—otherwise he would be keeping us over-dependent and immature. But as long as we want what is right for us, God will always do his part when we do our part.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the want to be made whole, the want to get well, the want to be what you want me to be, and the want to do what you want me to do. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name. Amen."
P.S. What do you "want" Jesus to do for you?
1. John 5:5-6 (NIV).