Monday, March 24, 2008

Would you like to be made whole?





“Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to be made whole?” (John 5: 1-6)

I don't believe there is a person alive who at some point in their life has not lost their spiritual sight, their hope, or have in some way been paralyzed by the effects of sin. I know all those words could have described me several years ago as a young mother of four, who had recently lost her mother after a long battle with emphysema. My husband and I had just begun the work of pioneering a new church after resigning from a prestigious job on the East Coast and moving back to Louisiana. We were ready to lay down our lives for the sake of the call. However, in the natural, the timing could not have been worse, or so it seemed at the time.

We had prayed, fasted, stood on the word, and just knew somehow my mom was going to be healed. We felt God would reward our obedience as we “left all” and came back home, having counted the cost and never once looking back. Our plans for the future seemed so bright, so full of faith, and brimming over with hope. We knew God was up to something great.

"Throughout the history of God's people as given to us in the Bible, we see that life is a test. We have before us the option to trust God "no matter what," or to walk away from Him. To walk away from God is to leave the fragments of our dreams in pieces on the floor, but to trust Him is to let God pick up the pieces and make us whole again. When we choose to let Him make us whole again, he will make our lives more beautiful than before." What I Learned from God While Quilting by Ruth McHaney Danner & Cristine Bolley



Back to the story in Bethesda , “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said to Jesus....” (John 5:7)

When it seemed my whole world came crashing down, I said those very same words to God, “I can't”. I felt like I could not go on without my mother. I can't be a pastor's wife and meet the needs and demands of a young and growing church. I can't meet all the needs of four young children under the age of seven. I can’t fulfill the expectations that seemed to face me at every turn. I had such valid reasons why I could not go on. Surely God would not, could not, should not, expect me to press on and be an instrument of healing and hope to others when I needed


so much to be healed myself.


Pool of BETHES'DA (house of Grace)



It was then, like the man at the pool of Bethesda, that I was beckoned to experience Jesus in a brand new way when He asked me, “Susan, would you like to be made whole?” I will never forget those piercing words. I had read them many times before, but this time, it was as if God spoke them audibly to me. They seemed to jump right off the page. How many more excuses could I give? How much further away could I run? Where could I hide from His presence? All of my "feeling sorry for myself" didn’t carry any weight with God. All I could do was respond, “Yes Lord, I want to be healed!”

Thank you Nina for this awesome quote to think about today. Yes, life is a test, and not just one. It is a series of events that we get to say, “YES”, to God over and over again. I wish I could say I have yielded to the Spirit every time I was faced with trials in my life. If that were the case the rest of the story would be grand.

The truth is that I've lost several other loved ones along the way. I've been betrayed and let down. I've grieved over a decision to lay down our ministry, which meant the world to me. I’ve struggled through a season of raising my teenage sons who desperately needed so much of my attention and direction. Loss after loss, test upon test, and yet, I have found in the end that God has been there, right along side of me, the whole way. Faithfully guiding as He poured in the Balm of Gilead to heal my wounded heart.

I have learned that we can't get stuck or set up camp at any one place in our walk with the Lord. He is always calling us to be ready to move when He moves, come up higher, and go further than we have ever ventured before! In the book of Ecclesiastes King Solomon describes the many seasons of our lives. We will at some point experience all of them. But most of all, I love the promise at the end of this passage when the Bible says:

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecc. 3:11

Yes, all things do work together for good in our lives. Yet it is true that we can’t always see the end from where we stand at the moment. However, if we are willing, God is just a prayer away to help pick up those broken pieces of our lives and make us whole again. I am still learning; I am still growing; and my hope is that I will always be ready to say, “Yes”, when the voice of God says to me, “do you want to be made whole?"


Please join us at Nina's Waiting For Grace and see what other's are sharing today.


16 comments:

Tami Boesiger said...

You picked a GREAT scripture passage, Susan.

"Would you like to be made whole?"

I'll be thinking on that all week. Thanks.

lori said...

I feel so unoriginal...everytime I come over for a visit...I leave with SOOOO much more...

Susan you have a gift girl...and you SPEAK to me, each time..If you get sick of hearing me say that...just skip over my comments..
but your posts TRULY BLESS me, you write so real...and it hits me!
Thank you so much...
Your verses are just perfect and you are right..
we can't stand STILL...God wants to move us...

you blessed me as USUAL!
love you! it was the perfect thing to fall asleep to!
hugs,
lori

Shari said...

It's great to read that - at the time you felt so overwhelmed, but He brought you through all of that. I've often been amazed at how much I can do with 5 children to raise, all day long. But God shows me how. I can learn lessons, grow, and serve Him even with children around. My hope is that I can become a good example for them. I think back so often to the example that my mom was for me.

Kysha said...

Wow! I just posted the same passage. I love it when God's people are on one accord. Great post!

MiPa said...

WOW!! What an awesome take on this quote. I'm mulling your sweet thoughts. Bless you for sharing.

Karen said...

Oh wow! What powerful words! Be ready to say "yes." I'm reminded of the "I Am" study where the author talked about being willing to say "yes" to God no matter what He calls you to do. I so much want to be a "yes" girl.

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post!
Karen
www.homesteadblogger.com/tagblog

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks so much for sharing your heart. I know ALL can relate to the feelings of loneliness, betrayal, disappointments, etc. Just the reality of living in a fallen world, but through it all, Jesus is always right there with us. It is so much more comforting to focus on that.
Great entry!
Love,
Kristin

Tonya said...

Amen, Susan! I loved when you said...

"Yes, all things do work together for good in our lives. Yet it is true that we can’t always see the end from where we stand at the moment. However, if we are willing, God is just a prayer away to help pick up those broken pieces of our lives and make us whole again."


There are times that GOD doesn't answer our prayers the way we think HE should. HOWEVER, HE IS "just a prayer away"... waiting "to pick up those broken pieces of our lives and make us whole again."

I'm SO THANKFUL that HE draws us back to HIMSELF when we pull away... SO VERY THANKFUL for HIS WORD!

LOVE YOU!!

PS.. I LOVE the Easter pics. I know how CRAZY you are about those grand-babies.

Ijust pray that one day when I have daughters-in-law, that I'll have the relationship with my them, as you have with Kristin. I know your time spent with her makes those little girls all the more special to YOU! (Part of me can't wait for that season of my life - and another wants to keep them little and at my feet forever) =-)

Heather@Mommymonk said...

Susan,
I think we all need to be made whole again at one point in time or another (and often more than once!) But we keep trying to peice ourselves back together when He is the only hope of healing. I need that healing touch, to be made whole and able to go about His business.

Robyn said...

I can very much relate to some of the things you experienced a few years ago. Even though my mother is not ill, she lives a 2 day drive away. And I am a Pastor's wife with two little boys. It amazes me how much work my life can be some days!! Some days I go to bed thinking I will not have anything left to give in the morning. But then I spend time with Him when I get up and He makes me whole again and gives me the strength that I need.

Thanks for such a moving post. I can so see myself in it!!

Denise said...

Great scriptures, and great post.

Bonnie W said...

I love this:
"I have learned that we can't get stuck or set up camp at any one place in our walk with the Lord. He is always calling us to be ready to move when He moves, come up higher, and go further than we have ever ventured before!"

It really makes our Christian walk exciting (if not scary at times!)
Thankis for sharing Sue.

Lana G! said...

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecc. 3:11

Love this passage!

Lori said...

Susan - you sure have a gift. I have been visited Jordan's site and praying for him for quite some time and have clicked on over to your blog. Your words always uplift me - what a great post!

luvmy4sons said...

Such wonderful words of comfort. Thank you! Five boys...I think I am going crazy at times with my four! It is a busy season of life for me right now with them all teens and at home being home educated...often I am ready to set up camp in ap lce of peace and tranquility...but God knows what is best...Loved this!

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