Webster defines “whole” as free of defect or impairment or having all its proper parts or components; complete/unmodified. Kinda sounds like “perfect” to me. I wonder if that’s what happened at the the pool; Bethesda? If we look at what both Jesus and the lame man said it’s pretty clear.
John 5:6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
John 5:15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.
If we step back and think about that for a moment we discover that there is another and altogether important message there for us.
- First note that Jesus knew what the man needed;
- He asked him if he wanted to be made whole;
- The man responded by saying that “yes” but he could never get to the pool first;
- Jesus told the man to take action in faith;
- The man responded and was “immediately” made whole.
What are you suffering today, what challenge is standing in your path? Have all of your efforts failed to provide that answer? Perhaps you are missing what’s behind the challenge that is part of the process of making you whole. And what I am referring to here goes beyond and much deeper than the challenge itself.
God has promised us that… all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28). What we have to do is ask God what He is trying to show us in the challenge we are facing. Remember, He either causes or allows everything in the life of a member of the bride of Christ. With that promise in hand, our first response should be to ask God what the challenge facing us is pointing to… what is it that He wants to heal in us as part of the process of making us whole?
Go back to Webster for a moment… free of defect or impairment or having all its proper parts or components; complete/unmodified. That is what Romans 8:29 points to; bringing the bride of Christ back to being free of defect as originally created; unmodified by sin. God created man in His own image – in is own character – but Adam interrupted that plan with sin and it has taken God stepping down from heaven as His Son to make the fulfillment of His plan once again possible. But we have a part to play if we want to be made “whole,” and it begins by submitting to the individual “conforming” process that God has in place for us.
We are each uniquely created, loved and cared for by God in a unique way on our journey to “wholeness.” It is up to each one of us to seek the wisdom and direction of the Holy Spirit at each step of the way. We are not sit and wait like the lame man at the pool for someone to help us step in. We have Jesus “in us,” and His Spirit is breathing healing into us every moment of every day. But unless we respond to what He is telling us to do we will never get into the pool… “His healing.” By faith we must step into each challenge by asking God… What are you telling me? What is it in my life that is holding me back from becoming more like Jesus today? What is keeping me out of the pool?
And how do we do that? The answer Jesus gave us in His sermon on the mount, but it is both easy and difficult. Easy to understand but difficult to employ.
Matt 6:33-34 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
What the Holy Spirit has (painfully) shown me is that our life is to be lived “one day at a time” because that is the only way we are able to focus on the “one” thing in our life that God is focused on. And trust me, from His Word and personal experience I can tell you that He doesn’t confuse us by having us focus on a bunch of things at the same time. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn’t here yet… today is all we have and sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Wholeness = One Challenge at a Time + One Day at a Time