When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
My question today 2014 “Why in the world would Jesus ask a man that has been paralyzed for 38 years if he wanted to get well?” In my opinion it would be obvious he wanted to be healed.
The verse continues…”I can’t sir,” the sick man said, “For I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up.” John 5
The problem with the lame man was deeper than his physical handicapped body. He had a handicapped mind. He had a handicapped attitude. He was swimming in his own self-pity, impossibility attitude. He had a negative ingrained way of thinking.
From my own personal experience, I am well aware that my frame of mind, my attitude towards events and circumstances, will and does dictate much of the outcome of several life situations I encounter.
The lame man in the bible had the victim mentality, he was bitter towards others that run before him to get into the pool, he had an issue to communicate what he wanted clearly and objectively when faced with Jesus question. His answer was not a yes or no but “I can’t” as of saying I don’t believe you can heal me, son of God.
He was handicap! How many of us are ill equipped to handle life, navigate through trivial matters, endure unexpected traffic jams, maintain our house in order, speak to a love one or co-worker without irritability, address situations in a calm controlled matter, handle computer glitches without a temper or even face a much more difficult scenario such as a denial of college financial aid because your mother accidentally placed a much higher amount in your own income tax field on the form. How many of us stay positive a midst adversity and negative situations slapping at our door?
I may, inadvertently blame life or use the overrated excuse of “I am just so overwhelmed.”
There is no denying being overwhelmed does play a huge role on our lives.
In this fast-paced age of the Internet we hear that every minute counts and speed and efficiency are critical. Day after day, week after week, year after year, all this pressure to succeed, achieve, meet goals, make a contribution, begins to build up inside of us until one day we are locked in the throes of overwhelm, numb to its debilitating effects on our bodies and quality of life. Information overload – from the media, our jobs, junk mail, e-mail, the telephone, political campaigns, due dates and so much more – often jumbles our thoughts, makes us forgetful and frays our nerves.
Many people experience relentless overwhelm every day and fret over how they can get though everything they have to do. They trudge on because they believe they must and that things will never change. Chronic overwhelm is one of the major causes of anxiety and anxiety disorders. When you’re overwhelmed, your mind overloads with all that’s going on. It takes a toll on your nervous, immune and hormonal systems, and left unattended likely will produce cycles of anxiety, fatigue and temporary despair. People on this kind of overload are more susceptible to disease and they age faster.
As a mother of 3 children with the responsibility to provide financially for my household, I know full well the overwhelm feelings. However, there is a great danger to never coming to the realization that we are more than overwhelmed, but handicapped, a negative person unable to think two positive thoughts without getting a brain cramp.
There is a great danger of becoming the lame Man at the pool of Bethesda where Jesus asked if he wanted to get well and all he could say was “I can’t.” He was a negative man.
Proverbs 23:7 King James Version (KJV)
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
How I think is everything. I believe we do have the option to push back the natural inclination of the mind to think negative and to use past events as a filter or an indicator of how present or future events will turn out.
The “world” that we live in is negative by nature. The news is negative; most people want to tell us the bad stories, not the good inspiring stories. Most people dwell on what they don’t have other than what they do have. It is easier to think about our problems than to focus on the great yet to come situations or blessings.
I noticed in my own college son the dreariness to deal with state institution or financial aid offices in which he anticipates the worst coming. Thank God he is able to communicate accurately all the information explaining what happened in the most efficient way. He does have the ability to remain calm and talk to others in an extremely intelligent way. Nevertheless, he fights to push back pessimism and negative thinking. He can get so stuck in complaining about the system, but the system is the lame man sitting by the pool. The system doesn’t matter. The computer glitch doesn’t matter, the traffic jam doesn’t matter, the bank teller that made a mistake and put your money in the wrong account doesn’t matter (that happened to him as well, poor thing), and the insurance company that audits a commercial business every year doesn’t matter. What matters is that unless we recognize that we are the lame man sitting by the pool making excuses for our handicaps negative ugly way of thinking we will never get better.
That’s why I read the bible. The passages from the bible are timeless. They reflect human tendencies yesterday, today and tomorrow and the beauty of it is that God doesn’t only reveal the problem he provides the solution.
- Would you like to get well? It is a yes or no question. No drama.
- Look at your mind and how you think of everyone and everything. Do you play God? Knowing how everything will turn out or how people will respond before you even enter a situation?
- Do what Jesus told the lame man “Stand up, pick up your mat and walk.” Do something with your life! Fight to change the negative way of thinking.
One could argue I am an optimist person and maybe I am. I learned however, many years ago while living in England that I needed to look at events as one individual thing and not associate emotion or pain to it. One bad incident in my life should not translate into a negative experience in which I tell myself “that’s how it is with me”.” I know how those people are or that’s how it is, I know it”.
I also pray and focus on what I want. If I am looking to fix a financial aid problem I don’t allow other things to enter my mind but a positive out coming. I believe that how I approach a situation will dictate how everything will turn out. Negative people have a tendency to attract negative events into their life not only that, they try to convince positive people that they are right. The only difference is that the positive people get a different result when face with similar difficulties. Who wants to be next to negative people? Most likely a negative person.
Last, there is a famous verse in the bible that says : Mark 11:23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.
I use to have 3X5 index cards. I wrote positive statements mainly biblical verses and use to repeat it 10 times a day. I still do. In the end of one month I was a more positive person. However, if you are the lame man, you will say “I can’t” this will never work.
P.S -By the way, the financial aid problem with my son was resolved.