I remember the day when I found out we were having our first baby; what a change that day represented! When I told my husband that a baby was on the way, he cried, hugged me, laughed, and proceeded to tell everyone. We didn’t follow any proper protocol in announcing this good news – everyone had to know RIGHT AWAY!
As the weeks turned into months and my belly grew, I began to notice that having a baby would mean much more than the first thrill of the news. We began to prepare for our child. Someone asked if we had prepared the nursery, what’s a nursery? Another asked, would we be using cloth diapers or disposable, diapers?
Yet another asked if we wanted our baby to wear onesies or just tshirts, what’s a onesie?
Changes were on the horizon. At first, the news of our pregnancy was thrilling, and then we began to understand that there’s more to this than exciting news; our lives were about to be seriously inconvenienced.
My due date was set at November 28th but my little one decided that he couldn’t wait that long. On November 4, 1985, (the Cowboys were playing, a serious inconvenience for my husband), I felt a sudden and painful contraction that was mostly centered in my lower back. There would be no good night’s sleep, there would be no easy way out, there was no schedule this child wanted to follow – at midnight, I found myself in the car on the way to the hospital.
All night long and into the morning of the 5th of November, I was given an education. The thrill of first knowing a baby was on the way was a distant memory as I agonized (yes, agonized) to deliver my firstborn. I was being seriously inconvenienced.
When our son was born and we heard his first cry, I didn’t care about the pain, the lack of sleep, or off-color hospital gown. This beautiful boy had just made his home with us. A lifetime of inconvenience followed, but the pure joy and richness of having this addition to our family made the inconveniences seem very unimportant. I learned to live an inconvenient life.
John 5:6 “Do you want to get well?”
If you read John 5, you’ll see that Jesus was questioning a man who was an invalid and had been in that state for 38 years. I think it would have been obvious that the man wanted to get well but Jesus asked, “Do you want to get well?” Why do you think He asked him such a question?
Jesus always speaks beyond the obvious. He knows we are conflicted in our minds and as much as we might think we want things to change in our circumstances, we grow comfortable with the way things are going in life. Change can be, even in difficult times, more uncomfortable than the discomfort we struggle with from day to day.
If you read on in John 5, you’ll see that the man who Jesus was speaking to had an unexpected answer, “I have no one to help me.” How could it be that he had, after sitting there for 38 years, found no one to help him? Chris Tiegreen says, “Mixed motives make for slow responses.”
Perhaps this man feared what a dramatic change like a healing would bring to his life. Perhaps Jesus was confronting him at this encounter as if to say, “Can you handle what life would be like after a radical encounter with Me?”
Are we like this man? Do we fear change to the point of resisting change? We get deliverance from sin and bondages but often look for ways to be tempted to return to them. We struggle with our “divided souls.”
Do you want to get well? Are you ready for things to be inconvenient? For life will surely change – for the better – when we allow ourselves to be inconvenienced by Him.