Sometimes we find ourselves in undesirable circumstances, jobs or relationships. As time passes, the situations may become more undesirable, or worse, more harmful or physically or emotionally toxic.
Time passes. The situations don’t change. They’re still undesirable. But we don’t change. Maybe we can, but we choose not to. Why is that?
In John 5 we read a story of a man who had been ill for 38 years. When he met Jesus, the Master asked him a probing question, “Do you want to get well?” He didn’t answer, he gave Jesus excuses why change seemed unrealistic.
The man had been laying there, day in, day out for 38 years! As pitiful as his condition seemed to be, the man got comfortable with his plight. Do we get comfortable where we are? He learned to adapt to his pitiful condition. Do we?
Do we sometimes tolerate our misery because we’ve learned to survive it? Do we tell ourselves over and over, “Maybe tomorrow”? or “Maybe someday”? or “at least I’m surviving”? or “My life could be better, but that’s just who I am.”?
Eventually do we accept that our life is never going to change? It’s never going to get better? Does resignation become a more tolerable choice than disappointment if we try to change and fail?
I was in a toxic relationship like the man at the pool of Bethesda for more than a year. Someone finally pointed out to me that the same power that raised Christ from the dead, the same power that parted the Red Sea was inside me. I finally got the courage, by the power and grace of God, to extricate myself from that toxic relationship and walk away.
I don’t hang around any pools of Bethesda now. Struggles and toxic circumstances still surface, usually at the most uncomfortable, inconvenient times. But, when Jesus askes me if I want to be healed, most times I answer quickly with a resounding,”Yes.” He’s the only one who can heal me (us).