There was a time when no one would would have to ask. You would be the first one in the prayer line. “Yes, me! I want to be healed!” That was eighty-five prayer lines, seven healing conferences, and two-thousand-hands-laid-on-you ago.
A few times you were kind of healed. Almost. Or maybe you thought you were healed, but it was your imagination. Somewhere in there you got tired of hoping. Tired of expecting, only to be disappointed. Again.
You settled into the new normal because you had to. Because it was the normal you woke up to everyday. It was the life you had, the hand you’d been dealt, the one you had to play.
I get that. But I think we make the mistake of settling in, getting too comfortable. Of losing hope.
Just because you’re in the wilderness right now, doesn’t mean you aren’t destined for the promised land. Just because you’re in a prison and your one chance for freedom has passed you by, doesn’t mean you’ll never fulfill your calling. Just because every day is a struggle just to survive, doesn’t mean God won’t fulfill his promise to you.
God still has a plan for your life, even for the time in-between — the time between the promise and its fulfillment. Most of life is in the waiting.
And that’s just it. No one likes to wait. We want to move on and just live already. So we accept the new normal like it’s going to be forever, and stop looking for the fork in the road, the off ramp, the place where God says it’s time.
We think we’re ready. We’ve been ready. But maybe we’re like the lame man at the pool of Bethesda. Jesus knew the man had been sick for a long time, but he asked him, “Do you want to be healed?” Crazy question. The man had been sick for thirty-eight years. He could never make it into the pool when the angel stirred the water. He showed up everyday, but he’d long lost hope of ever getting in. At some point “waiting” by the pool had become his new normal. It was his life.
If you’re sick and someone asks, “Do you want to be healed?” you’d say yes, of course. But when was the last time you actually asked God to heal you? Not wished you were better and assumed God knew because you’ve already asked a million times, and anyway, he can read your mind. No, actually asked — like you meant it — in so many words? If you’ve been suffering for a long time, it can seem pointless. Like he already knows by now, and if he doesn’t, well … exactly why it seems pointless.
I don’t know why an all knowing God, tells us to ask for the obvious, why Jesus gives us the example of the unjust judge who answered the door only because the widow wouldn’t stop knocking. But this is the model he gave us for prayer.
Maybe your time for healing isn’t today, maybe it wasn’t last year or even the decade before. But when it’s time, you don’t want to miss it.
I don’t want to be like Abraham’s father who set out for the Promised Land, but lived out the rest of his days at what was supposed to be a rest stop. I don’t want to be like the Israelites who were finally on their way to the Land of Promise they’d dreamed about for 400 years, but choked when it was time to possess it.
Don’t stop asking, don’t stop knocking. Don’t get so set in your ways that Jesus has to tap you on the shoulder and ask, “Do you want to be healed?”