5 One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
7 “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”
8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”
9 Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking!
I think as a society we know some of the things “we should” do. However, some of those things don’t give us the picture imagined in our mind. We think when we have it all then I will be happy or when I’m on the beach then I can finally relax. All conditions made up in our head of what we think the expected outcome should be. First of all don’t SHOULD on yourself. Second, if you really want to get well mentally, you will be required to do things outside of your comfort zone. Period. There will be thinking that will need to be shifted dramatically. The question is…How bad do you want it? I wanted to get sober and know I needed to, but I didn’t want to. I personally had to get to a place where I was uncomfortably miserable. Alcohol had been a source of comfort but at the end of my drinking career it became a physical demand and obsession. I could not enjoy dinner conversations because I was more concerned about where the waiter was for my next drink. I had to go to EXTREME measures to get sober almost five years ago. What is absolutely crazy about my alcoholism is that the thought comes to mind still to this day at times, “if I had a drink maybe this moment would be more enjoyable”. Alcohol used to control my life and all my decisions and my brain still thinks that I need it to have fun when my experiences have proven my mind wrong over and over again. I can’t help the thoughts that come to mind but I can help what I let fester. If I actually believed that thought then I would act upon it. But lies come to our mind all the time. I have to think through the lie. So what happens after I have a drink? Well I would want more…it doesn’t end with one, plus I never understood the point of one drink if you don’t feel any different.
I think we have to start with desperately wanting to get well first. But once we have made it past some hurdles the question is…Do I want to stay well? In order to stay well physically and spiritually I have to do disciplines that my mind doesn’t want to do. Lately, I’ve become complacent spiritually and physically and it leaves me feeling blah. So getting well is hard, but staying well takes commitment and faith. Faith that God’s ways will lead to a fulfilling life and better future. I can attest to the blessings God has given me in sobriety. Not to mention the daily peace I have now. Peace that only Jesus can give living a life fully surrendered to His will and not mine.
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. – Philippians 4:6-8