Do you have a hard time asking for help? I do. Sometimes it’s because I don’t want to rely on other people. Sometimes it’s because I think that I should be able to do it by myself. Sometimes it’s because it’s easier to do things myself than to walk someone through what I need help with, and then continually answer their questions. Regardless of my excuses, here’s the truth: I need help. We all do.
But there’s a difference between needing help and wanting it.
There are plenty of things we can do on our own. But with most things in life, we could use some help. An extra set of hands makes tasks go faster. Having someone to listen allows us to vent our frustrations and gain perspective when we’re frazzled. Sharing time with a special friend helps us feel connected and loved. It’s important for us to acknowledge that help is good. That’s the first step to wanting help.
But good help is hard to find.
Why is it that when we want help we don’t have anyone to go to, and when we don’t want help everyone comes out of the woodwork to give us advice on what we should do and how?
For those of us who have a hard time asking for help, we often justify our stubbornness by pointing out that even if we wanted help we don’t have anyone to provide it. Many times, it’s true. There isn’t anyone in our life ready to step up and lend a hand. But that doesn’t mean that we can stop being open to receiving help. We should venture out and ask for help instead of expecting someone to notice that we need help. And we should turn to God.
We may think that God’s too busy to help us. We may think that praying for help would be a nuisance or inconvenience since what we need help with isn’t as important as a financial crisis or world peace. We may think that because we’ve been struggling with this for so long, there’s really no use in asking for God’s help.
But if we don’t ask God for help with every aspect of our life, we aren’t open to seeing Him come through for us in every aspect of our life.
God wants us to come to Him. He wants us to trust Him. He wants us to want His help. And He can deliver. When Jesus was in Jerusalem, He went to Bethesda which was one of the gates of the city where there was a pool. Every so often the water of the pool would begin to ripple. Legend had it that when the water rippled, an angel’s wings were touching the water and the first person into the pool would be healed of whatever ailment they had. People who were blind, lame, and paralyzed came to the pool and would lie there waiting for the ripples. Then whoever was with them, family or friend, would scramble to help them into the pool first.
As Jesus walked by the pool, He saw a man who had been an invalid for 38 years. That’s a long time to be in need of help! He was lying there by the pool waiting for the ripples. Jesus asked the man, “Do you want to get well?”
What an odd question. You’d think the man wanted to get well because he had been there for so long. Then again, he had been there so long, maybe he didn’t really want help.
The man replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” That sounds familiar. How often do we feel like there’s no one to help when we need it? And so we sit in discouragement and watch others jump ahead in life.
Then Jesus said, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured. He picked up his mat and began to walk around. Talk about a miracle! Thirty-eight years of anguish and depression gone in one brief encounter with Jesus!
Jesus has the same power to help us today.
If we want help, Jesus will help. If we want to get well, He will heal us. But not always in the way we think He should. If we come to Jesus and believe that He can and will heal us, He will. He will heal us spiritually and prepare us for eternity with Him. That’s His number one priority. But for those who want a physical miracle and base their belief in Jesus on whether or not He’ll touch their bodies and provide full physical restoration, there may not be physical healing. Jesus can and does work miracles. Even today. But the question is: Do we want the miracle-worker, or do we merely want the miracle? Do we want Jesus, or do we merely want Him to restore what’s missing?
Jesus asks us all, “Do you want to get well? Are you willing to walk with Me so I can restore you? Do you want to be with Me for eternity?”
If the answer is Yes, prepare to pick up your mat and follow Him.
“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?’” John 5:5-6
May I pray?
Lord, we want to be healed. Whether we have a wounded heart from past relationships or we’re struggling with physical illness, we want to be made whole again. We know You can work a miracle in our life. But more important than our emotional or physical healing is our spiritual healing. Help us to come before You today and humbly seek You so that You can begin to work a miracle in our soul. May our lives be for Your glory. Amen.
Q4U: Do you want Jesus to help you?